Vincent Lecavalier
Vinny Lecavalier 2007.jpg
Born April 21 1980 (1980-04-21) (age 39),
L'Île-Bizard, Quebec, Canada
6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
216 lb (98 kg; 15 st 6 lb)
Position Centre
Shoots Left
Pro clubs Tampa Bay Lightning
Ak Bars Kazan
Philadelphia Flyers
Los Angeles Kings
Ntl. team Flag of Canada Canada
NHL Draft 1st overall, 1998
Tampa Bay Lightning
Playing career 1998–2016

Vincent Lecavalier (born April 21, 1980) is a Canadian former professional ice hockey player who most recently played for the Los Angeles Kings of the National Hockey League (NHL).

Vincent Lecavalier was the captain of the Tampa Bay Lightning for the 2000–2001 season and between the 2008–2013 and spent his first 14 NHL seasons with the Tampa Bay Lightning before being bought out following the 2012–13 season and signing with the Philadelphia Flyers for $22.5 million over 5 years. He was chosen first overall by the Lightning in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft and was a member of their 2004 Stanley Cup championship team. He won the Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy in 2007 as the NHL's leading goal scorer. On February 10, 2018, the Tampa Bay Lightning retired his number 4 jersey.

Playing careerEdit

Rimouski OcéanicEdit

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 (1998–2013)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]Cite error: Closing </ref> missing for <ref> tag.

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.

Iginla v Lecavalier

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 lock-out which cancelled 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.

Vincent Lecavalier 2007

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.[2]

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


Captain Vincent Lecavalier in December 2009.

In mid-January 2009, rumours 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.[3] 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.

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

On January 21, 2013, Lecavalier played in his 1000th NHL game, becoming the 280th NHL player to reach that milestone. His 1,000 games were all with the Tampa Bay Lightning. The team honoured him on January 25, their next home game, with several gifts including an engraved silver stick.[4]

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.[5] 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.[6]

Philadelphia Flyers (2013–2016)Edit

On July 2, 2013, less than a week after being bought out by the Lightning, Lecavalier signed with the Philadelphia Flyers[7] who agreed to pay him $22.5 million over a five-year contract;[8] which is in addition to the $2.33 million he will receive annually from the Lightning for the next 14 years.[9] Lecavalier chose to wear number 40 with the Flyers as his usual number 4 had been retired by the Flyers in honour of Barry Ashbee.[10] On November 27, 2013, Lecavalier made his first return to Tampa as a member of the Flyers and was welcomed with a tribute video as well as a long, standing ovation from Lightning fans. He scored a goal in his homecoming and was awarded the game's 3rd star. Lecavalier finished the season registering 20 goals and 17 assists, and scored his 400th career against the Boston Bruins on March 30, 2014. The Flyers qualified for the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs, before being eliminated in seven games by the New York Rangers, in which Lecavalier had one goal and an assist in the series. The 2014-15 NHL season began quite poorly for Lecavalier, and on December 2, 2014 he was a healthy scratch for the first time in his career.[11]

On April 9, 2015 in a game against the Carolina Hurricanes, Lecavalier fought twice against Hurricanes rookie Keegan Lowe, who was playing his first NHL game. Lecavalier didn't play the third period and may have suffered a concussion.[12]

Los Angeles Kings (2016)Edit

During the 2015–16 season, having played sparingly for the previous two seasons within the Flyers organization, Lecavalier was traded alongside Luke Schenn to the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for Jordan Weal and a third round pick on January 6, 2016.[13] One of the stipulations of the trade was that Lecavalier would retire at the end of the season to keep the Kings from being saddled with his hit to the salary cap. With number 4 being retired for Rob Blake, Lecavalier chose number 44 for the Kings. He officially announced his retirement on June 21, 2016.[14]

Personal lifeEdit

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 centre 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 three children: Victoria, Gabriel and Amelia.

He is featured in The Rocket: The Maurice Richard Story. Lecavalier portrayed legendary Montréal Canadiens centre, Jean Béliveau. He wears number 4 to honour Béliveau and legendary Boston Bruins defenceman 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 was named the Vincent Lecavalier Pediatric Cancer and Blood Disorders Center in his honour.

Career statisticsEdit

Regular season and playoffsEdit

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1994–95 Notre Dame Hounds SHA 50 38 42 80
1995–96 Notre Dame Hounds SHA 22 52 52 104
1996–97 Rimouski Océanic QMJHL 64 42 61 103 38 4 4 3 7 2
1997–98 Rimouski Océanic QMJHL 58 44 71 115 117 18 15 26 41 46
1998–99 Tampa Bay Lightning NHL 82 13 15 28 23
1999–00 Tampa Bay Lightning NHL 80 25 42 67 43
2000–01 Tampa Bay Lightning NHL 68 23 28 51 66
2001–02 Tampa Bay Lightning NHL 76 20 17 37 61
2002–03 Tampa Bay Lightning NHL 80 33 45 78 39 11 3 3 6 22
2003–04 Tampa Bay Lightning NHL 81 32 34 66 52 23 9 7 16 25
2004–05 Ak Bars Kazan RSL 30 7 9 16 78 4 1 0 1 6
2005–06 Tampa Bay Lightning NHL 80 35 40 75 90 5 1 3 4 7
2006–07 Tampa Bay Lightning NHL 82 52 56 108 44 6 5 2 7 10
2007–08 Tampa Bay Lightning NHL 81 40 52 92 89
2008–09 Tampa Bay Lightning NHL 77 29 38 67 54
2009–10 Tampa Bay Lightning NHL 82 24 46 70 63
2010–11 Tampa Bay Lightning NHL 65 25 29 54 43 18 6 13 19 16
2011–12 Tampa Bay Lightning NHL 64 22 27 49 50
2012–13 Tampa Bay Lightning NHL 39 10 22 32 29
2013–14 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 69 20 17 37 44 7 1 1 2 2
2014–15 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 57 8 12 20 36
2015–16 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 7 0 1 1 2
2015–16 Los Angeles Kings NHL 42 10 7 17 20 5 1 1 2 2
NHL totals 1212 421 528 949 848 75 26 30 56 84
  • Totals- 1,005 pts. Reg. Season & playoffs combined


Medal record
Competitor for Flag of Canada Canada
Ice hockey
World Cup
Gold 2004 Canada
Year Team Event Result GP G A Pts PIM
1998 Canada WJC 8th 7 1 1 2 4
2001 Canada WC 5th 7 3 2 5 29
2004 Canada WCH Gold medal icon 6 2 5 7 8
2006 Canada Oly 7th 6 0 3 3 16
Junior totals 7 1 1 2 4
Senior totals 19 5 10 15 53

Awards & HonorsEdit




See alsoEdit


  1. 1.0 1.1
  2. Lecavalier's 'lifetime' deal with Lightning. TSN (2008-07-12). Retrieved on 2008-07-12.
  3. Cowan, Stu. "Lecavalier wants to stay in Tampa", Montreal Gazette, February 1, 2010. Retrieved on 19 March 2015. 
  4. Lightning log comeback win as Bolts honor Lecavalier. Bay News 9 (2013-01-25). Retrieved on 2013-01-26.
  5. TSN.CA STAFF. "DALY WARNS TEAMS TO PLAY BY THE BOOK WITH BUYOUTS, TRADES", The Sports Network, June 26, 2013. Retrieved on June 26, 2013. 
  6. TSN.CA STAFF. "LIGHTNING TO BUY OUT REMAINDER OF LECAVALIER'S CONTRACT", The Sports Network, June 27, 2013. Retrieved on June 27, 2013. 
  7. Flyers reached an agreement with Vincent Lecavalier (July 2, 2013). Retrieved on July 2, 2013.
  8. Ren Lavoie (RDS), "Vincent Lecavalier is now a member of the Flyers. 5 years / 22.5 M"
  9. Vincent Lecavalier signs with Flyers, so much for union principles. The Star (2013-07-03). Retrieved on 2013-07-03.
  10. Vincent Lecavalier jersey number. (2013-07-04). Retrieved on 2013-07-04.
  11. Flyers make Lecavalier healthy scratch for 1st time. Yahoo! Sports (2014-12-02). Retrieved on 2014-12-02.
  12. Vinny Lecavalier disrespected by rookie Keegan Lowe. CSN Philly (2015-04-09). Retrieved on 2015-04-09.
  13. LA Kings acquire Lecavalier, Schenn from Flyers. Yahoo! Sports (2016-01-06). Retrieved on 2016-01-06.
  14. Vincent Lecavalier Officially Announces His Retirement. Los Angeles Kings (June 21, 2016). Retrieved on June 21, 2016.

External linksEdit

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