Emotions are still raw from this move, but I thought it a good time to reflect on some of the little known details of Vinnys time with the Lightning
Brad Richards reminds Vincent Lecavalier that he knows what he did last summer
1998 NHL Draft: Vincent Lecavalier is selected as the number 1 pick by the Tampa Bay Lightning. He is immediately dubbed "the Michael Jordan of hockey" by Lightning owner Art Williams. Lecavalier works hard in his rookie season to live up to this expectation, only to be brought down to earth by his teammates who ask him repeatedly to stop trying to perform layups and slam dunks in front of the goal.
1998 NHL Draft: Brad Richards congratulates Vincent Lecavalier on being selected number 1 by the Tampa Bay Lightning and reminisces about "that one time at hockey camp". Brad Richards is then immediately selected as the 64th pick by the Tampa Bay Lightning; a shock for all involved given the draft was still in the second round at the time.
2000/2001 season: Vincent Lecavalier is paired with Martin St. Louis to form what would become one of the most dynamic combinations in Lightning franchise history. Vinny’s two-way play steps up a notch with Marty on the wing, astounding fans and coaches alike. This is spoilt by the post-game interview where Lecavalier commented that he felt like he was on the penalty kill all night as he could only see 3 other Lightning players on the ice.
31 May 2004: Going into the third period of game 4 of the Stanley Cup finals against the Calgary Flames then coach John Tortorella physically clashes with Vincent Lecavalier over the style of game being played, leaving Vinny bloodied. Ville Nieminen rushes over to tend to the injured Lecavalier. The referees notice Lecavalier is bleeding and unjustly call Ville Nieminen for a game misconduct for the injury.
2006/2007 season: In preparation for the sale of the Lightning to OK hockey, Lecavalier is replaced with a goal scoring robot which is awarded the Rocket Trophy for the 2006/2007 season. Inquisitive fans start questioning robot Vinny’s lack of personality. Robot Vinny is secretly sold to the Pittsburgh Penguins and re-branded as Sydney Crosby.
12 July 2008: Not realising that robot Vinny had been shipped to Pittsburgh, new Lightning owners OK hockey contact Lecavalier’s agent and sign him to a long term contract out till 2020. Allegations of ‘inflated’ and ‘unrealistic’ contracts are leveled at OK hockey and Vincent Lecavalier. OK hockey are aghast as they are sure they purchased an extended warranty for robot Vinny.
26 June 2013: Following a disappointing and shortened season Vinny has yet to realise his dream to be the Michael Jordan of hockey. He speaks to Lightning GM Steve Yzerman and comes out of the meeting knowing he will be ‘released’ from the Lightning and can now follow his dream to become a shooting guard for a team in Chicago or Washington.