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Steve Yzerman’s No-Trade Assurance Relaxes Lecavalier

From the St. Pete Times’ Damian Cristodero:

Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman has sent a message to Vinny Lecavalier.

“We’re going to challenge him to be better,” Yzerman said.

But Yzerman also apparently assured the captain, who is coming off two disappointing seasons, he still is part of the plan.

“I’m not going to go out and start shopping Vinny Lecavalier around,” Yzerman said recently at the St. Pete Times Forum.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nhl-hockey, tampa+bay+lightning

Comments

Nathan's avatar

I think Yzerman is exactly what Lecavalier needs, I really expect a great season from Vinny… something in the 30 - 40 goal neighborhood with 50+ assists.

I know it seems too simple, but as all Wings fans know, Steve Yzerman, whether he’s playing, out injured, or up in the front office, brings a certain aura to a club that its best players respond to.

Every time Vinny looks up near the boxes, sees Stevie Y. around practice, etc., you can bet your ass he’ll be thinking, “I need to work as hard as he did.”

I don’t want to say Lecavalier wasn’t a hard worker before, but c’mon, we’ve all been there—when you have emotional/mental distractions about your job security, it’s hard to perform because you just can’t focus on what you should be doing. With a real owner and a GM that, while a rookie, has been a piece of the best organization in hockey for the last 15 years, Lecavalier might finally be able to have trust in the rest of his club, which will allow him to focus.

The sad part about this whole thing is that while I really do think Lecavalier will resurrect his career, his contract is just so long and has so much money on it that it seems inevitable that this won’t end on a nice note, even if it isn’t for another six, seven, eight years…

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 06/21/10 at 12:25 PM ET

Moq's avatar

Strictly speaking, Vincent Lecavalier only have two 80+ points seasons since entering the league in 1998. Perhaps the 108 points in 2006-2007 and 92 points in 2007-2008 were exceptions rather than grounds for expectation. Either way, it was sufficient for a generous contract.

Having Lemieux in Pittsburgh and now Yzerman in Tampa Bay tends to foster semi-religious ideas of divine inspiration in their respective cities and among their respective supporters. Even if Yzerman’s image were to appear on a piece of toast, I doubt it’ll push Lecavalier to peak performances of the past.

Posted by Moq from Denmark on 06/21/10 at 02:28 PM ET

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

Stevie is going to turn that team into a contender, and quick.

think of the tutelage he had.  Nill, Devellano, Holland, Andersson, Demers, Bowman, Babcock.  sheesh.  that list is sick.

this is a perfect example showing he knows how to lead.  how to get the best out of your players.

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 06/21/10 at 03:00 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Having Lemieux in Pittsburgh and now Yzerman in Tampa Bay tends to foster semi-religious ideas of divine inspiration in their respective cities and among their respective supporters. Even if Yzerman’s image were to appear on a piece of toast, I doubt it’ll push Lecavalier to peak performances of the past.

Posted by Moq from Denmark on 06/21/10 at 12:28 PM ET

Having Lemiuex in Pittsburgh has had an incalculable positive effect on Crosby.  While Lecavalier may not be an impressionable youngster who needs the guidance of a superstar, having a GM with Yzerman’s pedigree who understands both sides of the game confirming that he expects Lecavalier to play better knowing that he’s not on the trading block should make him more comfortable and help him perform better.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 06/21/10 at 03:14 PM ET

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

having a GM with Yzerman’s pedigree who understands both sides of the game confirming that he expects Lecavalier to play better knowing that he’s not on the trading block should make him more comfortable and help him perform better.

+19

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 06/21/10 at 04:21 PM ET

Nathan's avatar

Even if Yzerman’s image were to appear on a piece of toast, I doubt it’ll push Lecavalier to peak performances of the past.

Posted by Moq from Denmark on 06/21/10 at 12:28 PM ET

Have you ever had a job where nobody on your team or in your department liked your boss?

Have you ever worked at a company that was in the middle of a merger, buyout, or some other event that led to your position being completely up in the air?

I have worked in a company like this. It is incredibly difficult to focus at times like this. Some people handle it better than others.

This is what Vincent Lecavalier has had to deal with the last two years. And as the captain of that team, and the guy making the biggest money, he’s had way more of this on his shoulders than guys like Stamkos and St. Louis.

Look, I’m not saying Lecavalier is the perfect player. He’s not. And like Yzerman made clear, it is on Vinny how things go this upcoming season. But for the first time in two years, he finally has a non-toxic situation to cope with as that club’s captain.

You see what Stevie Y did for Nick Lidstrom, and Pavel Datsyuk, and Henrik Zetterberg, and Tomas Holmstrom, and even Johan Franzen. All these guys have spoken of Stevie Y’s influence on the way they play the game, the way they prepare for games, the way they try to work as hard as possible to set an example for their teammates, etc.

When the top of your organization is a guy whose career was all about growing up, maturing, becoming a leader, working hard, and demanding accountability of himself… you’re going to look up to that and realize that while you can’t match his talent, you sure will be expected to leave it all out on the ice the way he did.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 06/21/10 at 06:57 PM ET

Moq's avatar

Nathan,

There’s no doubt that the situation in Tampa Bay has improved with seemingly competent ownership and management. That will benefit everyone involved. If I remember correctly, Vinik assured Lecavalier to some degree about his future role in the future of the franchise. A statement now repeated by Yzerman. We’ve heard plenty of statements like this before, and there’s no reason to turn off skepticism just because it’s uttered by Yzerman.

However, my primary concern was the expectation of Lecavalier’s increased production. The “failure” of the previous two seasons are closer to his seasonal production for most of his career. Even with positive reinforcement, I think it’s optimistic to hope for something more than a satisfactory medium. And regardless of Yzerman’s backing, I don’t think Lecavalier is naive enough to think of it as a guarantee. Ultimately it’s up to Lecavalier and no one else, and I’m a little skeptical about his ability and desire to do the hard work. I hope I’m wrong.

You see what Stevie Y did for Nick Lidstrom, and Pavel Datsyuk, and Henrik Zetterberg, and Tomas Holmstrom, and even Johan Franzen.

That’s just the classical apprenticeship in hockey. Somone taught the professional basics to Yzerman and he passes it on like a lot of experienced players do every day in the NHL. The message may have changed a little through the decades, but the goal is the same. In the end, its how the apprentices internalize the message according to his ambitions and desires more than the grandeur of the messenger.

I have nothing but admiration for Yzerman, but let’s consider the realities as they materialize rather than re-iterate the gospel of Stevie Y (chapter 19) at every turn.

Posted by Moq from Denmark on 06/22/10 at 08:31 AM ET

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