LeClair's Four Teams List, Larry Brooks was RIGHT!
Flyers LW John LeClair has agreed to waive his no trade clause, and he has also given the 4 teams of where he’d like to play. Sources: LeClair agrees to waive no-trade clause
By EDWARD MORAN
The Flyers have been saying for years that they do not have a bottomless pit of cash.
So in what is being described as an effort to reduce payroll to make room for free-agent signings and their younger players, the Flyers have asked John LeClair to either agree to a rewritten contract that would spread out the cost of his current $9 million-a-year deal or to waive his no-trade clause.
According to several team sources, LeClair has agreed to be traded to at least four teams – the New York Rangers, Los Angeles, Detroit and Dallas – but has not agreed to a blanket waive of the clause that allows him to remain a Flyer through the remainder of his contract.
LeClair has 3 years remaining on a 5-year deal that guarantees him $9 million a year.
Reached last night, LeClair declined to comment on what the team sources have said. He said he would not talk about his contract or the possibility of a trade.
“Anything can happen,” LeClair told the Daily News. “But I’m not going to say anything about it. This will all be worked out in the next couple of weeks.”
Flyers president and general manager Bob Clarke on Friday denied the team had asked LeClair to waive the clause. He also denied a report that the Flyers contacted the Rangers to see if they were interested in trading for LeClair.
“I haven’t talked to [Rangers general manager] Glen Sather since Christmas,” Clarke said.
LeClair’s agent, Lewis Gross, did not return calls for comment either last week or yesterday.
That the Flyers are seeking to do something about LeClair and his hefty contract comes as no surprise. After a disappointing showing in the playoffs by LeClair, coach Ken Hitchcock said the team would begin to reduce LeClair’s ice time in favor of some of its younger players.
LeClair, who started last season strong after extensive offseason training, missed 47 games recovering from shoulder surgery after dislocating his right shoulder in November.
After coming back near the end of the regular season, LeClair did not regain his early-season form. LeClair, who will turn 34 next month, had 18 goals and 10 assists in 35 regular-season games. He had two goals and three assists in 13 playoff games.
If the Flyers reduce his ice time, having a third-line left winger making $9 million a year just doesn’t make sense.
It makes sense that the Flyers would seek to do something about the size of LeClair’s contract. They are in the market for a goalie, having just traded Roman Cechmanek to Los Angeles, and they are hoping to re-sign defenseman Eric Desjardins, who will become a free agent July 1.
Clarke has said the Flyers would wait until July 1, when the free-agent period begins, to see which goalies would become available. He also said the Flyers would consider trading for a goalie.
To do everything the Flyers will need to do in replacing Cechmanek and signing Desjardins, they will have to reduce payroll.
The Flyers ended the season with a payroll that topped $56 million. Sources said the Flyers would need to increase that to somewhere near $65 million to make the moves they believe they have to make.