Vincent Lecavalier

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Vincent Lecavalier
Vinny Lecavalier 2007.jpg
Born(1980-04-21) April 21, 1980 (age 33)
Ile Bizard, QC, CAN
Height6 ft 4 in (193 cm)
Weight218 lb (99 kg; 15 st 8 lb)
PositionCentre
ShootsLeft
NHL team
Former teams
Philadelphia Flyers
Tampa Bay Lightning
Ak Bars Kazan (RSL)
National team Canada
NHL Draft1st overall, 1998
Tampa Bay Lightning
Playing career1998–present
 
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Vincent Lecavalier
Vinny Lecavalier 2007.jpg
Born(1980-04-21) April 21, 1980 (age 33)
Ile Bizard, QC, CAN
Height6 ft 4 in (193 cm)
Weight218 lb (99 kg; 15 st 8 lb)
PositionCentre
ShootsLeft
NHL team
Former teams
Philadelphia Flyers
Tampa Bay Lightning
Ak Bars Kazan (RSL)
National team Canada
NHL Draft1st overall, 1998
Tampa Bay Lightning
Playing career1998–present

Vincent Lecavalier (born April 21, 1980) is a Canadian professional ice hockey player who is a member of the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League (NHL). Lecavalier previously spent his first 14 NHL seasons with the Tampa Bay Lightning before being bought out following the 2012–13 season and signing with the Flyers for $22.5 million over 5 years. He was chosen first overall by the Lightning in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft and won a Stanley Cup with the team in 2004. He won the Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy in 2007 as the NHL's leading goal scorer.

Playing career[edit]

Rimouski Océanic[edit]

Lecavalier played two years of junior hockey for the Rimouski Océanic of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL). During his tenure, he quickly established himself as one of the NHL's top prospects. In his first season with the Océanic, he won the Michel Bergeron Trophy as the QMJHL's top rookie forward, and the RDS Cup as the top rookie overall.

Tampa Bay Lightning[edit]

Lecavalier was drafted first overall by Tampa Bay in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft, during which new Lightning owner Art Williams proclaimed that Lecavalier would be "the Michael Jordan of hockey".[1][2]

On March 1, 2000,[3] following his sophomore season, he was named captain, becoming the youngest captain in NHL history at 19 years and 314 days (since surpassed by Sidney Crosby and Gabriel Landeskog). Previously, Steve Yzerman had held that honour, having been named captain of the Detroit Red Wings at 21 years, 5 months.[4]

However, Lecavalier did not fulfill expectations and was later stripped of the captaincy before the 2001–02 NHL season when Lightning management decided he was too young even as a high calibre player. Around that time, he clashed frequently with head coach John Tortorella.

Lecavalier faces off against Jarome Iginla. The two players battled in the 2004 Stanley Cup Finals.

Tortorella has since noted that Lecavalier matured since losing the team captaincy.[1] During the 2003–04 NHL season, while Martin St. Louis led in regular season scoring and Brad Richards led in the playoffs, Lecavalier played a key role in the team's Stanley Cup victory, assisting on the Cup-clinching goal. He was named MVP of the Canadian National Team in the 2004 World Cup of Hockey, which Canada won.

During the lockout which canceled the 2004–05 NHL season, Lecavalier, along with Lightning teammates Nikolai Khabibulin and Brad Richards, played for Ak Bars Kazan in the Russian Superleague. Lecavalier scored 16 points as Kazan finished 4th in the league and lost in the first round of the playoffs.

Lecavalier was chosen to play for Team Canada at the 2006 Olympics, but returned to Tampa without a medal.

Lecavalier broke the all-time Tampa Bay Lightning record for most points in a season by scoring his 95th point on March 16, 2007 against the Buffalo Sabres. The record was previously held by Martin St. Louis, who had 94 points during the 2003–04 NHL season.

On March 30, 2007, in a game against the Carolina Hurricanes, Lecavalier became the first Lightning player to record 50 goals in a season. He finished the season with 52 goals, edging Ottawa's Dany Heatley, who scored 50 goals, to earn the Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy as the NHL's top goal scorer for the 2006–07 season.

Lecavalier in 2007.

During the 2007–08 NHL season, Lecavalier recorded 8 straight multipoint games, being the first to do so since Jaromír Jágr in 1996. The scoring streak put him first in the NHL scoring race, until he was surpassed by Ottawa Senators' captain, Daniel Alfredsson, who scored 7 points in the final game before the All-Star break. He was named captain of the Eastern Conference at the 2008 NHL All Star Game. At the end of the season he was named the winner of both the King Clancy Memorial Trophy and the NHL Foundation Player Award for his tremendous charity work in the community.

In the 2007–08 offseason, Lecavalier underwent shoulder surgery to repair a fracture from taking a hit against Matt Cooke of the Washington Capitals. He underwent another surgery on his left wrist later in the summer.

On July 12, 2008, Lecavalier agreed to an eleven-year, $85 million contract extension with the Lightning. His new contract began after the 2008–09 season, and ran through the 2019–20 season.[5]

He was renamed captain of the Tampa Bay Lightning on September 18, 2008.

Captain Vincent Lecavalier in December 2009.

In mid-January 2009, rumors were swirling around a possible trade which would send Lecavalier to the Montreal Canadiens, his hometown, but Brian Lawton later stated that Lecavalier would rather stay in Tampa Bay for the rest of his career. Lecavalier confirmed in his own words his preference of playing in Tampa Bay over his native Montreal.[6] On January 24, at the NHL's superskills competition, Lecavalier received a standing ovation from the Montreal crowd that lasted for 30 seconds when he was being introduced.[citation needed]

Lecavalier underwent season-ending wrist surgery on April 3, 2009.[7]

On January 21, 2013, Lecavalier played in his 1000th NHL game, all with the Tampa Bay Lightning, becoming the 280th NHL player to reach that milestone. The team honored him on January 25, their next home game, with several gifts including an engraved silver stick.[8]

In June 2013, the New York Post reported that the Lightning and Toronto Maple Leafs had discussed a trade which would have sent Lecavalier to Toronto; the Maple Leafs would receive an asset in exchange for buying out Lecavalier's contract and he would then be free to re-sign with Tampa as an unrestricted free agent at a lower salary cap hit. Though the Maple Leafs denied the report, NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly promptly sent out a memo to all 30 league teams, warning them to avoid transactions deemed a circumvention of the collective bargaining agreement. The CBA prevents teams from re-signing players they've bought out for a minimum of one year.[9] One day later, the Lightning announced that it was buying out Lecavalier's contract, allowing their longest serving player to become an unrestricted free agent. The buyout will pay Lecavalier a total of $32.67 million and rid the Lightning of his $7.727 million salary cap hit.[10]

Philadelphia Flyers[edit]

On July 2, 2013, Lecavalier signed a five-year, $22.5 millon contract[11] with the Philadelphia Flyers, less than a week after being bought out by the Lightning.[12] Lecavalier will not be able to wear his usual number 4 in Philadelphia, since the uniform number was already retired in honor of Barry Ashbee. Instead, he chose to wear number 40.

Personal life[edit]

Lecavalier went to John Rennie High School in Pointe-Claire, Quebec for two years (1992–1993) before transferring to Athol Murray College of Notre Dame in Wilcox, Saskatchewan, Canada. He has been best friends with ex-Lightning center Brad Richards, who won the Conn Smythe Trophy in 2004 as Most Valuable Player of the NHL playoffs, since the age of 14, when they met at Notre Dame, where they were roommates and became best friends. Since then they have gone on to become teammates with the Rimouski Océanic, the Tampa Bay Lightning and also with Ak Bars Kazan. Lecavalier currently resides in Tampa's Davis Island.

Lecavalier began dating Caroline Portelance in 2001. After ten years of dating, the two were married in 2011. Together, they have two children: Victoria and Gabriel.

He is featured in The Rocket: The Maurice Richard Story. Lecavalier portrayed legendary Montréal Canadiens center, Jean Béliveau. He wears number 4 to honour Béliveau and legendary Boston Bruins defenseman Bobby Orr.

EA Sports' video game NHL 06 featured Lecavalier as the cover athlete.

In October 2007, Lecavalier pledged $3 million to a new All Children's Hospital facility under construction in St. Petersburg, Florida. The facility will be named the Vincent Lecavalier Pediatric Cancer and Blood Disorders Center in his honor.

Lecavalier celebrates his overtime goal against the Capitals in game 2 of their 2011 2nd round series.

Career statistics[edit]

  Regular season Playoffs
SeasonTeamLeagueGPGAPtsPIMGPGAPtsPIM
1994–95Notre Dame HoundsSHA50384280
1995–96Notre Dame HoundsSHA225252104
1996–97Rimouski OcéanicQMJHL6442611033844372
1997–98Rimouski OcéanicQMJHL5844711151171815264146
1998–99Tampa Bay LightningNHL8213152823
1999–00Tampa Bay LightningNHL8025426743
2000–01Tampa Bay LightningNHL6823285166
2001–02Tampa Bay LightningNHL7620173761
2002–03Tampa Bay LightningNHL80334578391133622
2003–04Tampa Bay LightningNHL813234665223971625
2004–05Ak Bars KazanRSL3079167841016
2005–06Tampa Bay LightningNHL803540759051347
2006–07Tampa Bay LightningNHL82525610844652710
2007–08Tampa Bay LightningNHL8140529289
2008–09Tampa Bay LightningNHL7729386754
2009–10Tampa Bay LightningNHL8224467063
2010–11Tampa Bay LightningNHL6525295443186131916
2011–12Tampa Bay LightningNHL6422274950
2012–13Tampa Bay LightningNHL3910223229
NHL totals10373834918747466324285280

International play[edit]

Vincent Lecavalier
Medal record
World Cup
Gold2004 World Cup of HockeyIce hockey

Lecavalier has played for Canada in:

International statistics[edit]

YearComp GPGAPtsPIM
1998WJC71124
2001WC732529
2004WCH62578
2006Oly603316
Senior int'l totals195101553

Awards[edit]

Junior[edit]

NHL[edit]

International[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]