Posted by: Adventures in Pucking | November 21, 2011

Man of the Day 11/21: Vincent Lecavalier

Vincent Lecavalier

Born April 21, 1980 (age 31) in Ile Bizard, Quebec, Canada

Center and captain of the Tampa Bay Lightning

We haven’t spotlighted a Bolt for a while, so let’s remedy this. Lecavalier started out playing juniors for the Rimouski Oceanic of the QMJHL. In his rookie season there, he got two separate trophies for top rookie, plus he got himself noticed by people in the NHL. He was taken first overall by Tampa Bay in 1998. When he was drafted, the Lightning’s then-new owner proclaimed he would be the Michael Jordan of hockey. After his sophomore season, he was named captain at the tender young age of 19. He didn’t perform up to expectations, though, and lost that C after contract negotiations in 2001 caused him to miss the start of the season. Losing that extra letter on his sweater taught Lecavalier a lesson and he went on to assist on the Stanley Cup-clinching goal when the Cup made Tampa its new home in 2004.

I'm just going to stare at this for a minute.

After that Cup win came the year that never was, so Lecavalier went along with teammates Nikolai Khabibulin and Brad Richards to Russia. They played together for Ak Bars Kazan. Once that year was over, he returned to Tampa, also going to the 2006 Olympics but not coming home with a medal. 2007 saw him break a team record for most points scored in a season (95) and become the first Bolt to score more than 50 goals in a season. That feat got him the Rocket Richard. He kept doing exceedingly well the next season, captaining the Eastern team at the All-Star Game, though after that season he had surgery to repair damage after a hit from Matt Cooke. In 2008 he signed a contract extension that will keep him in Florida until 2019-20, so it is entirely possible he could end his career with the team that drafted him. After signing that contract, he got his C back and he has it to this day.

Lecavalier is a stand-up guy. He has been friends with Brad Richards since they were 14 and boarding school roommates. He married his wife after ten years of dating and they have two kids. He’s also pretty good at his job. Last season he payed 65 games, scored 25 goals, got 29 assists and had 43 penalty minutes. Tampa Bay also had a very good playoffs run and Lecavalier contributed to it: 18 games, 6 goals, 13 assists, 16 penalty minutes. It looks like he’s on track for another good year down in Florida this year too!

Yep, Tampa's been good to him, alright.


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