Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 01/23/09 at 07:25 PM ET
Transcript courtesy of the NHL
Q. Can you describe exactly how the discussions about a possible trade, whether to Montreal or anywhere else, have unfolded for you? Who told you, how those conversations have gone, and what your thoughts are about that?
VINCENT LECAVALIER: I can’t remember those three, four days. I remember we were in California. It was a pretty hectic couple of days. Usually there’s rumors, but this one seemed that it had a lot of legs on that one.
So, no, I was just getting a lot of calls from parents, from family and friends. But it was just all rumors until obviously talking a little bit about it with the team and everybody knows here. And what the League came up with was obviously that if something was to happen, they would come to me and ask me or come up with a list or something like that.
It’s basically what you guys know.
Q. With this weekend approaching, did you feel some trepidation knowing that this was going to be one of the potluck options?
VINCENT LECAVALIER: Yeah, I kind of figured. A few people told me what to expect a little bit. But to tell you the truth, I came off the plane yesterday, and just from seeing fans, and I didn’t really know what to expect. But when I walked through those doors and seeing the hundreds of people there for autographs and waiting for the players to arrive in Montreal my hair was all over the place, and I really didn’t expect to have it for everybody, I guess, all the players. I don’t think anybody expected to have a welcome like that.
[SPEAKING IN FRENCH]
Q. Can you put into words what hockey what is so special about hockey in Montreal, and what that means to a player like you who is from here?
VINCENT LECAVALIER: Well, being from Montreal, obviously, the history behind the Montreal Canadiens, and all the Stanley Cups that they’ve won. Obviously, it’s basically like a religion here. Everybody loves the Canadiens. They follow the Canadiens.
For someone being born here, to play here, obviously people add, a little bit of pressure, but I think a good pressure.
I think it’s a great town. Like I said, people love the Canadiens, and with all the history and everything behind it, it makes it extra special.
Q. You were asked about the pressure question in French. Could you maybe offer your comments in English on pressure and in a place like Montreal what it means?
VINCENT LECAVALIER: Well, I’ve said that pressure there’s pressure in Tampa, there’s pressure on any NHL hockey team.
I think myself I like to put pressure on myself to do the best that I can to play the best that I can, and best of my ability.
We’re paid to play hockey. It’s a great sport. But, there’s pressure that comes with it, but I don’t think it changes from one city to the next.
Obviously, when you have a city like Montreal where hockey is a religion there’s a little bit of added pressure, but at the same time, I think there’s more media attention. But I think it motivates me. Every time I come and play here or Toronto it really motivates me when I’m on the ice, so it makes it very exciting.
Q. What has management told you to ease your concerns of a possible trade?
VINCENT LECAVALIER: Well, they’ve talked to me, and like they’ve told everybody else when we got back to Tampa, they had a press conference, and they just said that, first of all, we’re not going to trade him.
If it were to happen, then we would talk to Vinny first. So I don’t think it’s anything. They haven’t told me anything else or they’ve basically said everything in the media. What they told you guys, they’ve told me.
Q. This is a rather obvious question, but do you expect to be dealt before the trade deadline? Are you preparing yourself for that possibility? And if so, would you be prepared to come to Montreal?
VINCENT LECAVALIER: Like I said, they’ve told everybody or they’ve told me that nothing’s happening right now. If it were to happen they would come up to me with a list or something like that. If it would happen to Montreal, I mean, I grew up here. I’ve always loved the Montreal Canadiens. It’s a great organization, it’s a great town. My family’s from here. I’ve got a lot of friends here.
Of course, I’ve always said that Montreal, I think for a lot of Montreal players, it would be a dream place to come and play for.
Q. Do you think it might happen? Are you preparing yourself for the possibility that it could happen?
VINCENT LECAVALIER: I don’t know. I don’t think so. But in professional sports you can’t predict the future. If it happens, it happens.
Like I said, I love being in Tampa. The coaching staff is great, players are great, and I really enjoy being there.
[SPEAKING IN FRENCH]
Q. How much responsibility do you take as a player to come to an All Star Game if you’re picked? And how much of a level do you have to feel 100% to play in it, or if you’re only 50%, do you think you still have the responsibility to be here?
VINCENT LECAVALIER: I think you look at guys like Lidstrom that is not going. This guy is a guy that went to the All Star Game, I think, 11 or 12 times. He loves the game, he wants to promote the game.
I really think the guys that are here, that are chosen, they want to come over. If guys cancel at the last second, you know, they must have injuries or something maybe with their families. Like I said, it’s an honor. It’s an honor to be at the All Star Game. I think every guy wants to come.
Q. Pretty much any player at this point could use four or five days off?
VINCENT LECAVALIER: Yeah, definitely. When you get to the month of January, February, everybody’s a little bruised up. A lot of guys have injuries, and they still play.
Some guys play with injuries, but, it might be a better idea to maybe take a few days off and make sure that they’re ready for their season. I think that people should understand that. I believe the guys really want to be here. But, like I said, there’s a lot of things that happen during a season that sometimes four, five days off can really help you in the long run, and can help your team.
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