He was the first one on the ice at the Skate Zone in Voorhees for an optional practice Wednesday, a four-time all-star and former Stanley Cup champion attempting to earn his way back into the lineup.
These are trying times for Flyers center Vinny Lecavalier, who was a healthy scratch for the first time in his career during the recent West Coast trip. Lecavalier, 34, has now been a healthy scratch four consecutive games.
Owner of 405 career NHL goals, Lecavalier said he has no choice but to keep pushing in practice. The most difficult part of this process has been obvious.
"It's just not playing, it is as simple as that, and I honestly don't know what to say," Lecavalier said after the workout. "You know it is frustrating, and I have been practicing hard and trying to get ready for the next time I am called."
Lecavalier said coach Craig Berube hasn't talked to him about the situation or given an indication when he might return to the lineup.
The Flyers, who entered Wednesday seven points out of an Eastern Conference playoff spot, begin a four-game homestand when they host the New Jersey Devils on Thursday.
When asked if Lecavalier is a candidate to play, Berube wouldn't reveal his hand.
"There is always consideration game to game with the lineup," he said.
Berube did have praise for Lecavalier.
"I am sure it is not easy," Berube said. "He has worked extremely hard since he has been out and has a good attitude."
This season Lecavalier has two goals and four assists in 16 games and is a minus-4. He is averaging 13 minutes, 27 seconds a game and 2:39 on the power play. He has no power-play goals after scoring eight last year.
Lecavalier suffered a foot injury during the third game of the season, against Montreal, and missed the next seven games.
Recently, the centers on the Flyers' four lines have been captain Claude Giroux, rookie Scott Laughton, Sean Couturier, and Pierre Edouard-Bellemare.
Lecavalier has played wing, but he hasn't been very effective there.
Laughton has earned praise from Berube for his work.
"Laughton in the middle of the ice adds speed and he balances it out," Berube said. "Him, [Wayne] Simmonds, and [Brayden] Schenn have been a good line."
As for the fourth line, Berube said: "Bellemare is in a good spot where he is with [Zac] Rinaldo and [Chris] VandeVelde. They have energy, and they have all skated well."
This has left little room for Lecavalier, who before last season signed a five-year, $22.5 million contract as a free agent and now faces an uncertain future.
A free-agent pickup before the 2013-14 season, Vinny Lecavalier has not provided an infusion of offense. Here are the former all-star's numbers for the Flyers this season:
Games: 16 of 27
Healthy scratches: 4
Shots on goal: 28