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Entries with the tag: vincent lecavalier

Vincent Lecavalier Announces His Retirement

LOS ANGELES – Vincent Lecavalier, a 17-year veteran of the National Hockey League and a Stanley Cup Champion, officially announced his retirement from the game today. 

Lecavalier’s announcement:  As I publicly announced at the time I was traded to the Los Angeles Kings, the 2015/16 season would be my last in the NHL.  I recently informed the Kings that I am stepping away from the game and will no longer play professional hockey.  It is my desire and intention to retire.

Hockey has provided me so much in my lifetime but requires an incredible commitment.  It is now time for me to devote more time to my family. 

I want to take this opportunity to thank the people who have helped me along the way and shared this journey with me.   First and foremost, I would like to thank my parents, my wife, Caroline, my brother Philippe, sister Genevieve and my entire family.  I could not have accomplished anything without your love and support.  Thank you to the Tampa Bay Lightning for drafting me and providing me the opportunity to embark on my NHL career.  I will never forget winning the Cup together in 2004, and the incredible support from Lightning fans.  To the LA Kings, thank you for providing me the opportunity to finish my career on a positive note.  To the coaches who have developed me and challenged me - you made me a better player and person.  To my agent, Kent Hughes, thank you for all your efforts and support throughout my career. 

Hockey is the greatest team sport in the world.  There is nothing like sharing a locker room with your teammates and competing together day in and day out.  I have made lifelong friends and I’d like to thank them for making this an unforgettable journey…. Thank you.

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Video- Another Chance For Vincent Lecavalier

via Sportsnet,

On January 6th, 2016 , the Philadelphia Flyers traded Vincent Lecavalier for the first time in his 17 year career. It couldn’t have come at better time for the Kings 35 year old centre.

 

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Vincent Lecavalier On Playing With The Los Angeles Kings

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

"I'm working really hard to get my game back to where I want it to be, there's still a lot of things I can do better," said Lecavalier, whose four goals have come in his past six games. "It's only been nine games, I want to finish the season strong and try to get better with the puck and without the puck. There are still things I can improve on and I want to do that."

It was smart of Kings GM Dean Lombardi to make the deal with the Flyers happen almost two months before the trade deadline, allowing more time for Lecavalier and defenseman Luke Schenn -- who also came over in the deal -- to become acclimated to their new team. Sometimes trade deadline additions just never quite fit in, but these guys are getting ample time to do so.

In the meantime, some have wondered if Lecavalier should change his mind on retirement given how he's playing right now.

No chance, said Lecavalier. He gave his word to the Kings, and in his heart and mind he's ready to go out after this season. After all, the trade wouldn't have happened otherwise.

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One Last Shot For Vincent Lecavalier

from Frank Seravalli of TSN,

Eyebrows raised around the NHL when the Los Angeles Kings acquired Vinny Lecavalier on Wednesday.

What does Dean Lombardi, general manager of a Stanley Cup contender, see in a 35-year-old healthy scratch who was of little use to two coaches on non-playoff teams in Philadelphia?

Turns out, Lombardi is hoping for a little of…Bill Walton? Yes, the basketball Hall of Famer.

"The logic here is there's a lot of history of this," Lombardi explained to reporters. "I think Vinny, at this stage of his career, it's been made clear to us that it's all about getting one last chance to win it all. 

"…When you look at the history of things like this, with teams that have a chance to maybe do some damage, whether it's a Bill Walton, a top player, when he went to the Celtics; a guy here, Bob McAdoo, went to the Lakers; a guy like Darryl Strawberry and [Cecil] Fielder going to the Yankees – these were all top guys who, near the end of their career, wanted a chance to win and were willing to accept a lesser role."

It sounds off-the-wall, but Lombardi's thought process is interesting.

continued

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Vincent Lecavalier Now A Member Of The Los Angeles Kings

 

added 4:47pm,

 

added 4:55pm,

 

 

added 4:59pm, Breakdown of the salary the Flyers will be responsible for...

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Morning Line- Pierre LeBrun on Vincent Lecavalier

I don’t know what’s left in the Lecavalier tank, but I sure would love a chance to see it play out on a contender. He deserves one more shot.

-Pierre LeBrun of ESPN on Vincent Lecavalier.  More on Lecavalier from LeBrun...

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A Frustrated Vincent Lecavalier

from Dave Isaac of the Courier-Post,

During the Flyers’ morning skate, the team sent a tweet that general manager Ron Hextall would have an “update” on Wednesday. It turns out Lecavalier didn’t skate because he had some tightness in his back, but he is otherwise healthy. He plans to practice Wednesday.

“I don’t know what to say, man. It is what it is,” a frustrated Lecavalier said. “Obviously I’m not getting in the lineup, and I don’t know what to say anymore. I’m not going to come to the rink pissed off. I’m still going to try to come and get better. I don’t know. Wherever I get my opportunity I just want to be in shape if that happens.”

It’s no secret that the $22.5 million, five-year marriage between Lecavalier and the Flyers isn’t working. If it were as simple as filing divorce papers, both sides would be happier....

“Obviously I haven’t played in a while, but the games I’ve played I haven’t played much,” said Lecavalier, who went from having 20 goals in his first season with the Flyers to having 20 total points in his second. “I believe in what I can do. Obviously you need an opportunity and you need the ice time to produce no matter how good you are or if you’re in your prime or not. You still need the minutes to be successful and I believe if I did get those minutes, I would (produce). I believe in myself. I’ve said that all along, but I’m not in that situation here.”

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Vincent Lecavalier Update Coming On Wednesday

added 11:00am, Translated the tweet, it says his agent says back problem for Lecavalier.

 

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Vincent Lecavalier Ready To Play For The Philadelphia Flyers

from NHL.com,

Following two tumultuous seasons under former coach Craig Berube, Lecavalier will play for new coach Dave Hakstol provided Flyers general manager Ron Hextall doesn't find a trade partner willing to take on Lecavalier's contract, which has three years and $13.5 million remaining, according to war-on-ice.com.

Lecavalier scored 20 goals and had 37 points in 69 games in 2013-14, his first in Philadelphia. He had a career-low eight goals in 57 games, which was the fewest he played in a full season in his career, and averaged 12:39 of ice time per game last season.

Lecavalier, though, believes he still can contribute in Philadelphia. His agent, Kent Hughes, told TSN on Friday the Flyers haven't contacted him about a buyout and that Lecavalier will not retire under any circumstances.

"I'm still in shape," Lecavalier said Friday, according to RDS. "I really just want to get my chance. I am confident in my abilities and I move on.

"I kept a good attitude. You do not want to be a cancer in the room. You want to stay a good teammate, and that's what I tried to do. A good bunch of guys, it makes things easier. It is the past. I want to be in shape in September and playing hockey, that's it."

read on

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Vincent Lecavalier Just Wants To Play

from Stephen Whyno of the CP at Yahoo,

"Maybe it's just a better opportunity I need," Lecavalier said. "It happens to a lot of guys. Sometimes you just have to get out of it, try to get out of it and work hard through it and maybe another opportunity will happen."

Lecavalier is in the process of selling his home in Tampa, Fla., and is renting a house in the Philadelphia area. After 14 seasons as the face of the Lightning franchise, uncertainty has become the new normal for the Ile Bizard, Que., native.

Owed another $2 million roster bonus this summer, Lecavalier will have made $14 million of the $22.5 million from his contract before stepping onto the ice next season. Counting buyout payments from the Lightning that run through the 2026-2027 season, Lecavalier could earn the most money of any player in NHL history, with Jaromir Jagr the only active challenger.

Lecavalier said he wouldn't ask the Flyers to buy him out of this deal. He just wants to play.

"I feel like I've trained my whole career to extend those years and feel good when I'm 35, 36, 37 years old," he said. "I feel like it's not a matter of not having legs or anything like that. I was never a really fast guy. I've always been the same speed. I feel good."

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Vincent Lecavalier May Be Tradable

from Randy Miller of NJ.com,

Despite a feeling around hockey that Lecavalier is untradeable because of the length of his contract and declining offensive statistics, there does seem to be a way to work a divorce that will make both sides happy.

The Flyers, in fact, came very close to trading twice Lecavalier last summer, NJ Advance Media has learned. Lecavalier almost was moved to the Florida Panthers in June, and he twice almost was dealt to the Nashville Predators in July.

The reason neither trade was completed, according to sources, is that Panthers and Predators ownership called off the otherwise done deals.

"I think there are enough people in hockey circles that know that the deal was awfully close with Nashville," Kent Hughes, Lecavalier's agent, told NJ Advance Media in a phone interview. "I can't comment on specifics. Unfortunately, it didn't materialize for reasons other than personnel."

There's reason to believe that Lecavalier could be tradable this summer as well, despite very disappointing 2014-15 stats: seven goals, 17 points and a minus-10 rating in 51 games, almost all of them coming with the natural center playing right wing on the Flyers' fourth line.

more

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Intriguing observations from the ‘Hockey World’ and ‘Three Periods’

The Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson's main Hockey World column is a good read, discussing the post-firing life of coaches who rebounded in their own ways in Tom Renney and Rick Bowness, but his "Short Shifts" are probably more pertinent:

- St. Louis Blues phenom Vladimir Tarasenko, who just turned 23, has 20 goals on the year, but he might have scored 30 if he had shot more. He’s got 113 shots but that only puts him seventh behind Ovechkin, Karlsson, Seguin, Giroux, Pavelski and Pacioretty. “He could be more selfish,” said an NHL pro scout, marvelling at the Russian youngster’s release. Tarasenko, who may get to the $5-million to $6-million per season range in a new contract this summer, has 16 even-strength goals, second only to Tyler Seguin’s 17. “Twenty goals before Christmas? That’s special,” said teammate Steve Ott.

...

- If Vincent Lecavalier is playing right wing with Zac Rinaldo and French rookie Pierre-Edouard Bellemare in Philly, this is the end of the line for him, no?

- It should be noted that Roberto Luongo has a much better (2.35) goals-against average and way higher (.925) save percentage than Ryan Miller (.267) and .900 in Vancouver right now, but Miller has 16 wins. His team gives him way more run support than Luongo’s (11 wins) in Florida. Miller’s numbers are five-alarm stuff, but he is in the first year of a three-year, $18-million deal and he’s 34, not, say, 28.

This is probably true of more general managers (and coaches) than not, too:

-New Jersey Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello is almost always around his team, home and away, but he knows exactly what’s going on with his farm team and their prospects. “He gets tapes of the games and the practices,” said former Devils defenceman Mark Fayne.

Matheson continues, and while we're doing short quips and quotes, Yahoo Sports' Nicholas J. Cotsonika penned a superb "Three Periods" column discussing the Blue Jackets' resurgence and Patrik Elias' pluck, but the "Third Period" sticks:

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  Tags: bill+daly, bob+hartley, buffalo+sabres, calgary+flames, dallas+eakins, edmonton+oilers, florida+panthers, las+vegas, lou+lamoriello, new+jersey+devils, philadelphia+flyers, roberto+luongo, ryan+miller, st.+louis+blues, toronto+maple+leafs, vincent+lecavalier, vladimir+tarasenko

Vinny Lecavalier Out Two Weeks With Lower-Body Injury (Foot)

via the Philadelphia Flyers,

Set to resume practice on Monday morning, Flyers GM Ron Hextall announced injury updates on a few Flyers, as well as prospect Sam Morin.

Vincent Lecavalier will be out of action for two weeks with a lower-body injury.

Nicklas Grossmann is getting over a stomach virus and will miss today’s practice.

Prospect Sam Morin, who suffered a fractured jaw with his junior team in Rimouski, will miss approximately 4-5 weeks.

Lecavalier appeared in the first three games of the season for the Flyers, posting a goal and two assists. He averaged 15:37 of ice time so far this season, including 4:32 on the team’s power-play unit, which leads all Flyers forwards and is second most on the team behind Mark Streit.

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Anyone Want Lecavalier?

from TSN,

The Philadelphia Flyers are ramping up their efforts to find a suitor for centre Vincent Lecavalier.

TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger reported Thursday that Lecavalier's agent Kent Hughes has permission to speak to other teams regarding a trade for his client. Dreger adds that making a deal will be tough for the Flyers in the days leading up to July 1, as Lecavalier is owed a $2 million bonus on that date.

Dreger reported earlier this month that Lecavalier was in play in the trade market, though he has a no-move clause in his contract.

continued

The only way I see him moving is if the Flyers pick-up some of his salary...

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Russo: Matt Niskanen, Thomas Vanek and many top free agents won’t be ‘wined and dined’ in Philly

The NHL's free agent "wining and dining" period has begun, but the Minneapolis Star-Tribune's Michael Russo reports that teams interested in some of the top UFA's-to-be will be sorely disappointed if they were hoping to speak with them in Philadelphia:

Last year, when bought-out Tampa Bay Lightning center Vincent Lecavalier was seen in a New York hotel, reporters and TV stations camped out in the lobby. That’s why the agents of Vanek and Niskanen both say neither client will come to Philadelphia.

“The whole [interview period] isn’t working, at least from the player side, the way it was intended,” said agent Steve Bartlett, whose top two free agents this cycle are [Thomas] Vanek and Tampa Bay’s Ryan Callahan. “It handcuffs everybody when everybody’s sitting in Philly. The way this was envisioned was players could go into cities and see the schools, the neighborhoods, look at the facilities, go out to dinner. When someone has to make what often they feel is a pressure decision on July 1 or 2, they want to have a sense more than just what they might know from playing on a visiting team.”

It's believed that Callahan's close to re-signing with Tampa Bay...[edit: and while I was thinking out loud, I'm sure that the GM's and team officials know that these players won't be in Philly, and as such, they've probably already booked flights to the major agents' offices in Toronto, which are generally located in nondescript buildings near Lester B. Pearson International Airport]

Bartlett won’t bring any of his pending free agents to Philadelphia. Agent Don Meehan, whose agency, Newport Sports, represents pending free agents such as Jarome Iginla, Brad Richards, David Legwand and the Wild’s Matt Moulson, said he won’t either.

However, one agent who asked not to be named because he doesn’t want to create a distraction, said he might bring a “few of my lesser free agents.”

Russo continues, and while he simply says that Matt Niskanen won't be in Philadephia, either, it's intimated as his agent, Neil Sheehy, didn't comment per se [edit: Sheehy is based in the remote location of International Falls, Minnesota, so it's kind of hard to miss a GM taking a connecting flight to the border of Minnesota and Ontario at Minneapolis-St. Paul]; in his blog, Russo states that Bartlett will sell Vanek to clients based upon his body of regular-season work:

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  Tags: brad+richards, clayton+stoner, david+legwand, don+meehan, jarome+iginla, minnesota+wild, philadelphia+flyers, ryan+callahan, tampa+bay+lightning, thomas+vanek, vincent+lecavalier, willie+mitchell

TSN’s Insiders discuss Mike Richards’ future, Lecavalier trade and a sort-of Dan Boyle sweepstakes

As noted during the GM's meetings post, ESPN's Pierre LeBrun tends to issue a set of "Rumblings" in conjunction with an episode of TSN's Insider Trading, and that is most certainly the case this evening. TSN's Darren Dreger, James Duthie and LeBrun spent three-and-a-half minutes discussing hot topics, and TSN conveniently provided a transcript of the video.

In terms of items not discussed by the GM's meetings post or LeBrun's Rumblings...

The Stanley Cup Final is on but GM's are already focusing about next season. We expect Brad Richards to be bought out by the New York Rangers - what about Mike Richards by L.A.?

Darren Dreger: Well the Los Angeles Kings don't plan on buying out Mike Richards because then they would have to replace him. But Mike Richards doesn't want to be a fourth-line centre next year for the Kings. The Kings are expected to push Richards in the off-season to improve his conditions and get a little bit stronger. But we also know that Richards is a strong and confident young man and he may not want to follow the path that the Kings want him to follow. So this could get very interesting.

Is current Philadelphia Flyer Vincent Lecavalier soon to be an ex-Flyer?

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  Tags: dan+boyle, david+poile, garth+snow, los+angeles+kings, mike+richards, nashville+predators, new+york+islanders, philadelphia+flyers, ron+hextall, shea+weber, toronto+maple+leafs, vincent+lecavalier

Matheson discusses Ray Whitney’s future, Lecavalier as a buyout candidate and shares Bowman thoughts

The Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson discusses a wide range of topics over the course of three Hockey World articles, pondering the fate of 42-year-old Ray Whitney, who will be an unrestricted free agent this summer...

“I’ll be 42 years old and there won’t be a lot of people banging down the doors,” he said.

If it’s not the right location, like a Western Conference team — his family plans on staying in the desert this winter, Whitney might retire. He’ll be in management someday, if he wants to dive it into as Todd Marchant has done in Anaheim, Calif., where he’s head of player development for the Ducks.

“It was not a great year … I’m not sure there are a whole lot of options out there,” Whitney admitted. “The legs are still there, but it’s nearly impossible to get the legs moving when you’re over 40 and playing eight to 10 minutes and only on the power play. After the first 10 games, I was on the second line, but the last three or four months, it was the fourth. They went with youth and they do have some good kids. I can’t deny that.”

Wondering whether the Flyers will buy out Vincent Lecavalier after signing him to a 5-year deal that's become a millstone...

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  Tags: colorado+avalanche, nathan+mackinnon, patrick+roy, philadelphia+flyers, ray+whitney, scotty+bowman, vincent+lecavalier

Video- Ring, Ring, Ring, I Think Lecavalier Is At The Doorstep

Three 'tings' for Lecavalier on the same shot...

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Video- Tampa Bay Lightning Salutes Vincent Lecavalier

We have two video, the first one is the tribute video and the 2nd video below is titled Community Hero which points out the work Lecavalier has done in the Tampa area.

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A New Beginning For Lecavalier

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

It wasn't until a couple of weeks ago that the feeling of finality set in for Vincent Lecavalier.

He had been home in the Montreal area for the summer when he found out that the Tampa Bay Lightning -- the only NHL team Lecavalier had ever known and the team he helped put on the map both locally and nationally -- bought him out of the final seven years of his monster 11-year contract. So the impact wasn't quite as dramatic as if he'd been traded midseason or something of that nature. The Lightning sent him his equipment so he didn't have to return to the St. Pete Times Forum and confront the many memories he created there.

There was, in fact, a bit of a disconnect from the enormity of the situation.

But when he returned to his house in Tampa several weeks ago, it truly sunk in that the page had been turned both for him and the Lightning.

continued

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Lesson for Lightning: Meeting the Detroit Standard Still Far Away

Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman spoke Thursday morning about just wanting to get the game against his former club over with.

Without a doubt, after a 6-2 drubbing at the hands of the visiting Detroit Red Wings, Yzerman’s Bolts are happy to move on.

While he has continually insisted that the showdown with the team for which he became an icon during his playing career was not a big deal, it had to at least be a little weird for Yzerman to see his Lightning facing his Wings.

Come to think of it, there was a little bit of weird for all involved throughout the evening, beginning with an ovation for Yzerman himself, shown briefly on the LightningVision scoreboard, that seemed almost like a “Thank you” from longtime Detroit fans and bested anything in recent memory from the home crowd in appreciation.

Journey may have fabricated “South Detroit” in their overplayed anthem “Don’t Stop Believin’” but it sure seemed like that was a very real location for last night’s game – and the temporary mailing address for the St. Pete Times Forum.

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  Tags: guy+boucher, octopus+twirl, steve+yzerman, vincent+lecavalier

ECF Preview? East’s Best, Flyers and Lightning Duke it Out in Tampa

“Playoff atmosphere”…

“Statement game”…

Two overused hockey clichés, yes, but each applied to last night’s tilt between the Eastern Conference’s top two clubs, the Philadelphia Flyers and the Tampa Bay Lightning.

It was, without a doubt, a playoff-type atmosphere at the St. Pete Times Forum, in a back-and-forth, physical affair that resulted in the virtual tie of a shootout victory for Philadelphia.

And the statement that was made in Philly’s 4-3 win is that both of these clubs are for real, each a legitimate contender when the postseason hits, and that a playoff series between the two would be intensity at its best.

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  Tags: claude+giroux, dwayne+roloson, guy+boucher, james+van+riemsdyk, kimmo+timonen, scott+hartnell, teddy+purcell, vincent+lecavalier

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Lightning/Sabres, 2/8/11 (Plus, Isles Goalie Woes and Matt Cooke)

As the second period of last night’s Sabres/Lightning game was nearing a close, anyone trying to get a jump on writing their game story had to feel pretty good about things.

Captain Vincent Lecavalier was putting together a dominant performance, the Bolts had a two-goal lead, goalie Dwayne Roloson looked sharp and entering the third period with a lead has been a near sure thing for this team, 22-1-1 in such a scenario before last night.

Once Thomas Vanek’s 20th goal of the year cut Tampa Bay’s lead to 3-2 with less than two minutes left in the middle frame, however, a not-so-fast vibe filled the St. Pete Times Forum. That Vanek, a notorious Lightning-killer, started the turn of Buffalo’s tides should be no surprise. That the game got as out of control as it did beyond that, though, should be.

And now, the return of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, with some cameo appearances from other games (so as not to overly depress the Lightning faithful):

Continue Reading »

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  Tags: dwayne+roloson, fedor+tyutin, kevin+poulin, matt+cooke, rick+dipietro, ryan+malone, sean+bergenheim, victor+hedman, vincent+lecavalier

Bolts at the Break: Couldn’t Ask for Much More

With the pre-All-Star break portion of their schedule now officially complete after last night’s 2-0 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Tampa Bay Lightning sit comfortably atop the Southeast Division, second overall in the Eastern Conference and can rest, save for All-Stars Martin St. Louis and Steven Stamkos, with five days before a meeting with the East-leading Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday.

51 games in the books, 31 to play – before the second season, that is, which is now nothing short of extremely likely for Tampa Bay. (Playoff hockey, folks! And – gasp – something to get excited about!)

Actually, there’s been plenty of excitement surrounding the Lightning all season already.

There are, of course, the 31 wins – second only to Philadelphia (33) and matched only by Pittsburgh in all the National Hockey League.

There’s the 16-4-2 home record and the fact that all but one of the Lightning’s hockey games in February will be played at the St. Pete Times Forum, with ten tilts remaining on the lengthy 12-game homestand.

There are individual performances to consider, namely St. Louis and Stamkos, near the top of the league in goals, assists and points all season long and the latter now in position for “Rocket” Richard and Art Ross honors with Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby on the shelf.

Continue Reading »

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  Tags: dwayne+roloson, guy+boucher, martin+st.+louis, simon+gagne, simon+gagne, steve+yzerman, steven+stamkos, victor+hedman, vincent+lecavalier

Vinny Lecavalier, 100 Games at a Time

I’ve been stuck in stats mode of late – something not at all uncommon for me when the creative juices are otherwise limited for whatever reason. There’s plenty of material to work with on the horizon, however, as I’ll be traveling to Raleigh next Thursday to cover All-Star Weekend festivities (stay tuned for specific announcements on coverage plans there) and two meetings between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Atlanta Thrashers to capture my attention between now and then.

Before the first of those contests tonight in Atlanta, Lightning captain Vincent Lecavalier celebrating his 900th regular season game in Tuesday night’s win over Columbus meant he’d become the focus of my latest number-crunching. The 900-game milestone pushed me to take another look at offensive production throughout his career; this time, in nine 100-game segments.

Of course, Vinny’s been overanalyzed from every angle and by every method imaginable over the course of his career, particularly since signing an enormous, 11-year, $85-million contract extension in the summer of 2008, and these days, the official team stance seems to be that what Lecavalier brings to the Lightning involves far more than just point totals.

To that end, all parties seem pleased this season. Lecavalier certainly seems much happier than in recent years, despite missing 16 games to a hand injury, and the coaching staff and front office has continually lauded his evolution into a more well-rounded player.

Continue Reading »

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  Tags: vincent+lecavalier

The Bolts Beat, 1/10/11: Tampa’s Up & Down Week, M-A Bergeron, Slightly Whacky All-Star Picks & More

In tonight’s episode of The Bolts Beat, the gang reviews a roller coaster week for the Tampa Bay Lightning and analyzes what the addition of defenseman Marc-Andre Bergeron might eventually mean for the club.


And, in a nod to the NHL’s unique way of fielding two all-star teams this year, Jon, Mark and Mike create some rules as well in selecting their very own squads.

image

All that, plus the usual shenanigans after the jump…

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  Tags: all-star+game, dan+ellis, dwayne+roloson, martin+st.+louis, mike+smith, steven+stamkos, vincent+lecavalier

Gagne’s Return Sparks Bolts, Plus a Few Thoughts on Pat Burns

I’ve tagged him the Lightning’s “wild card” all season, even before the neck injury that cost him 18 games. After a pointless first six games in a Lightning uniform, it was hard to forecast what Simon Gagne might bring to Tampa Bay this season. After all, recent history tells us that productivity elsewhere may not instantly equate to success alongside Vincent Lecavalier in Tampa (see: Tanguay, Alex, both before and after his single season as a Bolt). Add in that lingering injury – the latest in a career full of them for Gagne – and there is still really no telling what the former Flyer might be capable of for the long haul.

But, for a night, the wait was well worth it for both player and team, as Gagne lifted the Lightning to a 4-3 overtime decision in Toronto with the decisive tally in the extra frame.

Lecavalier remains out for the immediate future, so whether these two end up meshing as intended is still very much up in the air. And, of course, sustained health for Gagne is always a question mark (though, really, isn’t it for all of us?) But if Gagne’s impact on the Bolts last night is any indication as to what he might bring to the table for Tampa Bay in the long run, as my ever-optimistic Bolts Beat co-host, Mike Corcoran, suggests ad nauseam, maybe there really is something special coming together for the Lightning this season.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Montreal Canadiens, New Jersey Devils, Tampa Bay Lightning, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: pat+burns, simon+gagne, simon+gagne, vincent+lecavalier

The Bolts Beat, 11/29/10: Lightning Week in Review, #StamkosMath Jinx? and… Lord of the Flies???

In this week’s episode, the gang looks back at four games for the Lightning last week and previews three upcoming matchups and questions whether or not the recent Stamkos 50-in-50 talk was a bit premature.

Also, Mike wards off a horrendous head cold, Mark welcomes back the Whale and Jon keeps one foot firmly planted in (his) reality.

Finally, against all odds, The Bolts Beat crew prevails over deadly, swarming, killer flies. (No, really.)

Have a listen…

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: martin+st.+louis, simon+gagne, simon+gagne, steve+downie, steven+stamkos, vincent+lecavalier

JJ on Calgary’s FAN 960

I had the opportunity to be a guest with Rob Kerr on Calgary’s FAN 960 radio on Friday night. We talked all things Lightning, including the continued success of Steven Stamkos, the current injury status of several key Bolts, their overall solid start to the season and where I see them going from this point forward. You can check out the entire segment here (split into two parts) or can download the audio files after the jump.


 


 

 

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  Tags: alex+tanguay, simon+gagne, simon+gagne, steve+downie, steven+stamkos, victor+hedman, vincent+lecavalier

Loss of Lecavalier Not Crippling but Lightning Now Face a Lofty Challenge

A tough stretch just got tougher for the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Already missing forwards Steve Downie and Simon Gagne from their top-six forward ranks, the Bolts will now be without the services of Vincent Lecavalier, who suffered a non-displaced fracture of his right hand in Thursday’s 6-3 loss in Washington and will miss three to four weeks as a result.

Forwards Johan Harju and Marc-Antoine Pouliot are set to be summoned from AHL Norfolk today to help stabilize a now-hobbled Lightning offense.

For Lecavalier, who will miss at least ten games barring any expedited recovery, the setback marks another disappointing chapter in recent history. The Lightning captain followed up career bests of 108 and 92 points from 2006-2008 with 67 and 70-point campaigns the last two years and was off to an unremarkable start to this season with three goals and nine points in 13 games. All this, of course, after signing an 11-year, $85-million dollar contract extension in July of ’08 by former ownership…

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  Tags: alexander+semin, dwayne+roloson, jeff+carter, johan+harju, marc-antoine+pouliot, simon+gagne, simon+gagne, steve+downie, vincent+lecavalier

The Bolts Beat, 11/01/10: Tampa’s Winning Ways, Around the NHL and More

In the latest episode, Jon quickly puts to bed the nonsense stemming from last week’s show, the gang discusses the week that was for the Lightning, some leaguewide issues (including yet another suspension) and, as always, close things out with the specialty segments, “Mike’s Missed Call of the Week”, Jon’s “What the Hell Was That?” and Mark’s “Missing the Mark” (which desperately, desperately needs a new name, folks).

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Filed in: NHL Teams, d, Pittsburgh Penguins, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dan+ellis, danny+briere, mattias+ohlund, rick+dipietro, simon+gagne, simon+gagne, steven+stamkos, vincent+lecavalier

Various Paths to Tampa Bay’s Early Success

It’s been said, time and again, that the truly great teams can beat their opponent on any given night with any particular style of play. While this year’s Tampa Bay Lightning shouldn’t be too quick to anoint themselves the NHL’s next great club - after nine games, that would just be silly - the results have been impressive to this point and wins are coming in a variety of ways.

Tonight’s triumph over visiting Pittsburgh was of the comeback sort, with the Lightning rebounding from a pair of first period shorthanded tallies by the Penguins, an early goaltending change with Dan Ellis replacing Mike Smith after three goals allowed on seven shots and a 3-1 deficit overall. While no team wants to get in the habit of having to battle back like that and, surely, it can drive a coach crazy, that the Lightning have already proven capable of doing so gives them immeasurable confidence and should pay dividends down the road.

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  Tags: dan+ellis, dana+tyrell, guy+boucher, martin+st.+louis, mike+smith, steven+stamkos, vincent+lecavalier

After a Loss, Boucher Doesn’t Disappoint

Last night’s tilt between the New York Islanders and the Tampa Bay Lightning won’t highlight any instructional hockey videos – it was ugly, all-around, really – and the finish was marred by what was probably the longest video review in the history of NHL hockey in October. But, though the 3-2 Islanders overtime victory serves as a shining example that, even in a slop fest like this one, there’s some good and bad to go with some serious ugly, I can’t bring myself to go full G, B & U today. (Tried – didn’t work – onward…)

Instead, some random observations:

***

It’s not as though I’m ever pulling for the Lightning to lose but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t looking forward to the first Guy Boucher post-loss press conference.

I’ve been impressed with Boucher, who seems to have the favorable blend of teacher, tactician and shrink attributes in his bag of coaching tricks, from the start. He’s been intense all the while but he’d led me to believe that after a loss – particularly a poorly-played loss – we’d see a different side and, last night, he didn’t disappoint.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, New York Islanders, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dan+ellis, guy+boucher, matt+smaby, randy+jones, ryan+malone, simon+gagne, simon+gagne, steve+downie, vincent+lecavalier

The Bolts Beat, 10/19/10: Lightning on the Road and a Look Ahead, Plus NHL Officiating Issues & More

In the latest episode of The Bolts Beat, the boys discuss the Tampa Bay Lightning’s first road swing of the season and preview the week ahead for the Bolts, Jon’s “What the Hell Was That?” segment brings up an interesting debate on replay, major penalties and the like, Mike defends referees (a sure sign of the apocalypse) and much more.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, Boston Bruins, Calgary Flames, Carolina Hurricanes, Colorado Avalanche, Dallas Stars, Florida Panthers, Montreal Canadiens, Nashville Predators, New York Islanders, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
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Once Hot, the Lightning/Panthers “Rivalry” Needs a Serious Spark

The Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning share a home state, divisional alignment and the perks of leaving their home rinks to 80 degree-plus temperatures on the regular.

Their tenure as National Hockey League member franchises is nearly identical as well, with Tampa entering the league for the 1992-93 season and Florida one year later.

But you won’t find much evidence of a rivalry when speaking to current players from these clubs and, from members of the organizations of years gone by, what once sounded like legitimate hostilities have either fizzled into forced assertions or a longing for the good ol’ days.

It can’t hold a candle to the long-standing, emotionally charged levels of Calgary/Edmonton, Boston/Montreal or Colorado/Detroit.

It’s not likely to ever split households, a la Islanders/Rangers or Canadiens/Maple Leafs.

And, though both teams have had their share of supreme talents over the years, the odds of a superstar-driven rivalry, as in Ovechkin-Crosby/Capitals-Penguins, between the Lightning and Panthers are poor.

But there has to be something there still, right?

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Calgary Flames, Colorado Avalanche, Detroit Red Wings, Edmonton Oilers, Florida Panthers, Montreal Canadiens, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Ottawa Senators, Pittsburgh Penguins, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alex+ovechkin, brian+bradley, enrico+ciccone, erik+gudbranson, guy+boucher, jacob+markstrom, jay+feaster, martin+st.+louis, mike+smith, paul+laus, phil+esposito, quebec+nordiques, randy+moller, sidney+crosby, steve+yzerman, steven+stamkos, tony+esposito, vincent+lecavalier

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Lightning at Canadiens, 10/13/10

Death, taxes and JJ’s The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

The alternative to the standard game recap became a staple of my Tampa Bay Lightning coverage last season and it was only a matter of time before it made its season debut here.

Sure, the title of the regular feature has now been copied by a second-rate Bolts blog as of this morning but the content can’t hold a candle to the original and, hell, you’re here with me and they’re, well… They’re sleeping, I’m sure, on Pacific Time and what not… (Lightning coverage from California? Now that’s insight!)

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, Colorado Avalanche, Florida Panthers, Montreal Canadiens, New York Islanders, Philadelphia Flyers, St. Louis Blues, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alex+ovechkin, andrei+kostitsyn, brett+clark, carey+price, dan+ellis, dustin+boyd, guy+boucher, jaroslav+halak, martin+st.+louis, matt+smaby, maxim+lapierre, michael+vernace, mike+green, mike+lundin, mike+smith, nicklas+backstrom, nino+niederreiter, randy+jones, ryan+malone, simon+gagne, simon+gagne, steve+downie, steven+stamkos, teddy+purcell, tomas+plekanec, victor+hedman, vincent+lecavalier

The Bolts Beat, 10/12/10: Lightning Home Opener, Road Trip Ahead, Devils Dilemmas, Wisniewski & More

In the latest episode of The Bolts Beat, Jon, Mike and Mark recap the Lightning’s successful home opener and preview their road trip ahead. The boys also discuss the current (disasterous) state of the New Jersey Devils and the James Wisniewski/Sean Avery incident (how about that? “Sean Avery” and “incident” in the same sentence? Shocker…) Finally, JJ blows his top (again) in the latest installment of “What the Hell Was THAT?”

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  Tags: dominic+moore, ilya+kovalchuk, james+wisniewski, mario+lemieux, nate+thompson, sean+avery, sean+bergenheim, steve+downie, steven+stamkos, t.j.+brodie, vincent+lecavalier, wayne+gretzky

The Bolts Beat, 09/27/10: The Gang Talks Preseason Games, Cuts, Suspensions, Fantasy Hockey & More

In the latest episode of The Bolts Beat, JJ and co-host Mike Corcoran cover the Lightning’s recent preseason road trip, roster moves made thereafter, NHL discipline issues (including the recent Nick Boynton/Blair Jones incident), predictions for how Tampa Bay’s final roster may end up, fantasy hockey strategy and Jon (of course) continues his New York Jets elation, much to the dismay of Mike and fellow contributor, Tampa Bay Lightning.com’s Mark Pukalo.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, Carolina Hurricanes, Chicago Blackhawks, Florida Panthers, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: adam+hall, alexander+ovechkin, blair+jones, cedrick+desjardins, chris+durno, dana+tyrell, dennis+wideman, derek+boogaard, eric+perrin, fantasy+hockey, james+wright, johan+harju, john+tavares, marek+malik, mark+streit, nick+boynton, niklas+persson, rick+dipietro, roster+cuts, sidney+crosby, simon+gagne, simon+gagne, steven+stamkos, suspensions, tomas+vokoun, training+camp, vincent+lecavalier, wade+redden, zenon+konopka

How About A Comeback Player Of The Year Award?

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

With all the hardware the NHL dispenses come awards time, why wouldn’t they name a comeback player of the year? The Masterton comes closest, but here’s a vote for reworking the definition of the Lady Byng trophy so that it goes to the player who rebounds after a sub-par year. The Byng doesn’t get much respect as it is currently interested defined - gentlemanly conduct just doesn’t cut it among hockey players generally - and it would create an interesting new category, which this year would feature a ton of potential candidates this year: Ales Hemsky, Johan Franzen, David Booth, Marc Savard, Dave Bolland, Milan Lucic, Paul Martin to name just a few.

Then there is Lecavalier, who actually scored 70 points last season, but was a minus-16, a fairly accurate reflection of his even-strength struggles. It is in the goal-scoring department where the decline has been especially noticeable: 52 to 40 to 29 to 24 over the past four seasons.

For Lecavalier, who was part of the 2004 Stanley Cup championship team, there is more to get excited about this year than there has been in the recent past.

more on Lecavalier…

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: vincent+lecavalier

Turnaround in Tampa Starts at the Top

Before a single tweak to the roster, the Tampa Bay Lightning were already poised for improvement in 2010-11. With the tumultuous era of previous ownership already behind them when the sale of the team to Jeff Vinik was completed late last season, gone in an instant were any and all off-ice concerns and the circus went back to being an annual visitor to the St. Pete Times Forum rather than a permanent resident. With the appointment of Steve Yzerman as general manager, credibility returned to the franchise and new head coach Guy Boucher was widely regarded as the hottest commodity on the off-season coaching market.

Without a solitary player move, hockey life in Tampa was good again.

But far be it from Yzerman to rest on the comfort that fans surely feel by him simply not being one of those other guys. The addition of former Flyers forward Simon Gagne headlines a list of shrewd off-season maneuvers for the rookie GM and the revamped roster could very well translate to the sort of on-ice success that will make Lightning followers quickly forgot about three non-playoff seasons gone by.

 

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  Tags: alex+tanguay, andrej+meszaros, antero+niittymaki, antti+niemi, blair+jones, brad+richards, brett+clark, brett+connolly, carter+ashton, cedrick+desjardins, chris+durno, dan+ellis, dana+tyrell, dominic+moore, dustin+tokarski, eric+perrin, guy+boucher, james+wright, jaroslav+janus, jeff+vinik, johan+harju, kevin+quick, khl, kurtis+foster, lady+byng+trophy, marc+pouliot, mark+barberio, mark+parrish, martin+st.+louis, matt+lashoff, matt+walker, mattias+ohlund, mike+smith, mitch+fadden, nate+thompson, nhl+awards, nhl+previews, niklas+persson, paul+szczechura, pavel+kubina, radko+gudas, randy+jones, richard+panik, riku+helenius, rocket+richard+trophy, ryan+craig, ryan+malone, sean+bergenheim, sidney+crosby, simon+gagne, simon+gagne, stephane+veilleux, steve+downie, steve+yzerman, teddy+purcell, training+camp, traverse+city+prospects+tournament, ty+wishart, victor+hedman, vincent+lecavalier, vladimir+mihalik, zenon+konopka

The Bolts Beat, 09/13/10

In the latest episode of The Bolts Beat, JJ and co-host Mike Corcoran discuss Dan Ellis’ recent Twitter troubles and the many (over?)reactions thereof, look ahead to training camp opening this weekend, Tampabaylightning.com contributor, Mark Pukalo, stops by again to discuss some intriguing position battles ahead for the Lightning and the boys have a little extra time to discuss the NFL’s opening weekend.

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  Tags: adam+hall, brett+clark, dan+ellis, johan+harju, martin+st.+louis, mattias+ohlund, mike+lundin, mike+smith, nate+thompson, nhl+training+camp, niklas+persson, paul+szczechura, pavel+kubina, randy+jones, ryan+malone, steve+downie, steve+yzerman, steven+stamkos, teddy+purcell, victor+hedman, vincent+lecavalier

Yzerman’s Moves Have Lightning Poised for Marked Improvement

In these early days of the Steve Yzerman era here in Tampa, the consensus opinion on his re-molding of the Lightning roster has been overwhelmingly positive.

He promised a methodical approach and got to work in just that fashion almost immediately, adding here, subtracting there and strengthening the overall product all the while.

Few onlookers, if any, have been unimpressed.

But what has been done under Yzerman to this point, until on-ice results can be considered, that is, has to be labeled with the age-old, “on paper” caveat.

Essentially, Yzerman has shed some dead wood, plugged a few holes, added much-needed depth in key areas and maybe, just maybe, found the spark to reignite his club’s captain’s once-dynamic career. And before we forget, he’s given the hottest young coaching commodity in the hockey world the task of leading these fortified troops to success.

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Lecavalier Will Undergo Minor Procedure On His Knee

TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning announced today that center Vincent Lecavalier will undergo a minor arthroscopic procedure on his left knee on Tuesday, August 24 in Tampa. The procedure will be performed by Lightning Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Ira Guttentag at the Florida Medical Clinic.

The recovery time will be 3-4 weeks and Lecavalier is expected to be ready to participate in the Lightning’s training camp, which begins Friday, September 17.

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  Tags: vincent+lecavalier

The Lecavalier Arena

from J. Meagher of the West Island Gazette,

Vincent Lecavalier put Île Bizard on the hockey map and now the island is returning the favour.

On Thursday, the arena at Sport Complexe Saint-Raphaël will be renamed after the island’s most famous native son.

There is already a Pavillon Vincent Lecavalier in Île Bizard. The community centre is located next to the soccer and football fields and outdoor hockey rink where Vinny, now 30, played as a youth.

But a hockey arena bearing his name seems more fitting for the NHL star who left home as a teenager in the 1990s to pursue his hockey dream, but still comes home every summer to spend time with family and friends.

continued

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  Tags: vincent+lecavalier

Southeast Division Statistical Previews by Position: Forwards

As the new season approaches, I’ll be making an effort to preview the Southeast Division in a slow and steady, comprehensive manner. To kick things off, I thought I’d take a look back at last year’s individual player statistics, updated to reflect this summer’s off-season transactions. (In other words, for example, we’ll group Dustin Byfuglien’s 2009-10 statistics with Chicago alongside his new Atlanta Thrashers teammates and their performances from last year.)

In short, we’ll look at last year’s stats with this year’s rosters, both by division as a whole and by individual teams, broken down by position… Because a look to the recent past can often be a good indicator of what’s to come. (Often… Not always. See: Cheechoo, Jonathan.) And, besides, I don’t know that you’ll find a list like this in too many places (at least I hope you won’t… Cause that would mean I spent too much time on all of this!)

To get things started, we’ll start tonight with the forwards.

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Lightning Hits Prague

From Damian Cristodero at Lightning Strikes:

About 100 or so fans were there to meet the bus. As the players got off, the Czech natives (Vinny Prospal, Radim Vrbata and David Koci) were swarmed by kids seeking autographs and television and newspaper cameras. Vinny Lecavalier was treated as royalty as well. As he walked from the bus to the rink, at least six men snapping pictures walked backwards in front of him, all while a crowd asked for autographs.

“It’s special,” Prospal said later in the locker room. “It’s my home country. It doesn’t happen every day like that. I’ll enjoy it for a couple of days. Now I know what Vinny has to do every day of his life.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: vincent+lecavalier, vinny+prospal

Talking to Tampa Bay

From Daren Millard & Nick Kypreos at Fan590—

The producer of the “SAW” films and the television show “Two and a Half Men” joins Hockeycentral @ Noon on entering his first season as an NHL franchise. [Vinnie] Lecavalier enters the conversation with [Oren] Koules and the boys to discuss his reason for signing an 11-year extension to stay in Tampa and on once again being captain of Lightning.

Check out today’s show for some hockey talk out of Tampa Bay.

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  Tags: oren+koules, vincent+lecavalier

What Could Have Been…

From Damian Cristodero at Lightning Strikes,

It has been seven years since Lightning superstar Vinny Lecavalier almost was traded to the Maple Leafs, and when I say almost, I mean it. Former Lightning president Ron Campbell, who on Friday was named a senior adviser to the new ownership group spoke at length for the first time about what almost went down in December 2001.

Campbell has been credited with stopping the deal that would have brought Nik Antropov, Tomas Hoglund, Tomas Kaberle and either then-prospect Brad Boyes or a first-round draft choice.

“I didn’t stop the trade, per se,” Campbell said. “I stopped the conference call.”

continued…

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  Tags: vincent+lecavalier

Report: Lecavalier Agrees to Terms of $77 million, 9 Year Deal

From Bob McKenzie at TSN,

The final touches are still being worked on and nothing can be formally announced until July 1, but sources tell TSN the Tampa Bay Lightning and superstar centre Vinny Lecavalier have agreed to terms on a mega-deal that will pay him $77 million over nine years.

The annual salary cap hit to the Lightning will be about $8.55 million for the length of the contract, but the final year of the contract is said to be only for about $3 million, which means that if Lecavalier retired after eight seasons, his average salary would be as much as $9.4 million.

continued…

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  Tags: vincent+lecavalier

Lecavalier Lifelong to the Lightning?

From TSN,

It appears the excitement surrounding the Tampa Bay Lightning’s offseason won’t stop after selecting Steven Stamkos at Friday’s NHL Entry Draft.

TSN’s sister station in Quebec RDS reports that the Lightning and centre Vincent Lecavalier have made very good progress on discussions that would see him sign a ‘lifelong’ contract with the club after July 1.

Lecavalier, 28, is entering the final season of a four-year, $27.5 million contract where he will earn $7.167 million.

continued…

Original RDS report (in French).

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  Tags: vincent+lecavalier

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