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Vincent Lecavalier
VLecavalier.jpg
Born April 21, 1980 (1980-04-21) (age 37)
Ile Bizard, Quebec, Canada
Height 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Weight 218 lb (99 kg; 15 st 8 lb)
Position Centre
Shoots Left
NHL team
Former teams
Philadelphia Flyers
Tampa Bay Lightning
Ak Bars Kazan (RSL)
National team Flag of Canada.svg Canada
NHL Draft 1st overall, 1998
Tampa Bay Lightning
Playing career 1998–present

Vincent Lecavalier (born on April 21, 1980) is a Canadian professional ice hockey player who is a member of the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League (NHL).

Vincent previously spent his first fourteen NHL seasons with the Tampa Bay Lightning before being bought out following the 2012–13 season and signing with the Flyers for $22.5 million over 5 years. He was chosen first overall by the Lightning in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft and won a Stanley Cup with the team in 2004. Vincent won the Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy in 2007 as the NHL's leading goal scorer.

Playing CareerEdit

Rimouski OcéanicEdit

Vincent 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, Vincent won the Michel Bergeron Trophy as the QMJHL's top rookie forward, and the RDS Cup as the top rookie overall.

Tampa Bay LightningEdit

Vincent was drafted first overall by Tampa Bay in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft, during which new Lightning owner Art Williams proclaimed that he would be "the Michael Jordan of hockey."

On March 1, 2000, following his sophomore season, Vincent was named captain, becoming the youngest captain in NHL history at 19 years and 314 days (since surpassed by Sidney Crosby and Gabriel Landeskog). Previously, Steve Yzerman had held that honour, having been named captain of the Detroit Red Wings at 21 years, 5 months.

However, Vincent did not fulfill expectations and was later stripped of the captaincy before the 2001–02 NHL season when the Lightning management decided he was too young even as a high calibre player. Around that time, Vincent clashed frequently with head coach John Tortorella. Tortorella has since noted that Lecavalier matured since losing the team captaincy.

During the 2003–04 NHL season, while Martin St. Louis led in regular season scoring and Brad Richards led in the playoffs, Vincent 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 lockout which canceled the 2004–05 NHL season, Vincent (along with Lightning teammates Nikolai Khabibulin and Brad Richards) played for Ak Bars Kazan in the Russian Superleague. Vincent scored 16 points as Kazan finished 4th in the league and lost in the first round of the playoffs. He was chosen to play for Team Canada at the 2006 Olympics, but returned to Tampa without a medal.

On March 16, 2007, Vincent broke the all-time Tampa Bay Lightning record for the most points in a season by scoring his 95th point 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, Vincent 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.

During the 2007–08 NHL season, Vincent recorded eight 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.

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

In mid-January of 2009, rumors were swirling around a possible trade which would send Vincent to the Montreal Canadiens, his hometown, but Brian Lawton later stated that Vincent would rather stay in Tampa Bay for the rest of his career. Vincent confirmed in his own words his preference of playing in Tampa Bay over his native Montreal.

On January 24, 2009 at the NHL's superskills competition, Vincent received a standing ovation from the Montreal crowd that lasted for 30 seconds when he was being introduced. On April 3, 2009, he underwent season-ending wrist surgery.

On January 21, 2013, Vincent played in his 1000th NHL game, all with the Tampa Bay Lightning, becoming the 280th NHL player to reach that milestone. The team honored him on January 25, their next home game, with several gifts including an engraved silver stick.

In June of 2013, the New York Post reported that the Lightning and Toronto Maple Leafs had discussed a trade which would have sent Vincent to Toronto; the Maple Leafs would receive an asset in exchange for buying out Vincent'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.

One day later, the Lightning announced that it was buying out Vincent's contract, allowing their longest serving player to become an unrestricted free agent. The buyout will pay Vincent a total of $32.67 million and rid the Lightning of his $7.727 million salary cap hit.

Philadelphia FlyersEdit

On July 2, 2013, Vincent signed a five-year, $22.5 millon contract with the Philadelphia Flyers, less than a week after being bought out by the Lightning. He will not be able to wear his usual number 4 in Philadelphia since the uniform number was already retired in honor of Barry Ashbee. Instead, he chose to wear number 40.

Career StatisticsEdit

    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
NHL totals 1037 383 491 874 746 63 24 28 52 80

International PlayEdit

Medal record
World Cup
Gold 2004 World Cup of Hockey Ice hockey

Vincent has played for Canada in the:

  • 1998 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships
  • 2001 World Ice Hockey Championships
  • 2004 World Cup of Hockey (gold medal)
  • 2006 Winter Olympics


International StatisticsEdit

Year Comp   GP G A Pts PIM
1998 WJC 7 1 1 2 4
2001 WC 7 3 2 5 29
2004 WCH 6 2 5 7 8
2006 Oly 6 0 3 3 16
Senior int'l totals 19 5 10 15 53

Awards & AchievementsEdit

Junior HockeyEdit

  • QMJHL All-Rookie Team - 1997
  • CHL All-Rookie Team - 1997
  • QMJHL First All-Star Team - 1998
  • CHL First All-Star Team - 1998
  • RDS Cup (QMJHL Rookie of the Year) - 1997
  • Michel Bergeron Trophy (QMJHL Offensive Rookie of the Year) - 1997
  • CHL Rookie of the Year - 1997
  • Mike Bossy Trophy (QMJHL Top Draft Prospect) - 1998
  • CHL Top Draft Prospect Award - 1998

NHLEdit

  • NHL Second All-Star Team - 2007
  • NHL All-Star Game - 2003, 2007, 2008 (captain), 2009
  • Stanley Cup champion - 2004
  • Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy - 2007
  • King Clancy Memorial Trophy - 2008
  • NHL Foundation Player Award - 2008

InternationalEdit

  • World Cup of Hockey champion - 2004
  • World Cup of Hockey All-Star Team - 2004
  • World Cup of Hockey MVP - 2004

Personal LifeEdit

Vincent attended John Rennie High School in Pointe-Claire, Quebec for two years (from 1992 to 1993) before transferring to Athol Murray College of Notre Dame in Wilcox, Saskatchewan, Canada.

He has been best friends with ex-Lightning center 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.

Vincent currently resides in Tampa's Davis Island. In 2001, Vincent began dating Caroline Portelance. After ten years of dating, the two were married in 2011. Together, they have two children: Victoria and Gabriel.

Vincent was featured in "The Rocket: The Maurice Richard Story". He portrayed legendary Montréal Canadiens center Jean Béliveau. He wears number 4 to honour Béliveau and legendary Boston Bruins defenseman Bobby Orr.

EA Sports' video game NHL 06 featured Vincent as the cover athlete. In October of 2007, he pledged $3 million to a new All Children's Hospital facility under construction in St. Petersburg, Florida. The facility will be named the Vincent Lecavalier Pediatric Cancer and Blood Disorders Center in his honor.

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