Making good on his announcement at the start of the 2015-16 NHL season, Vincent Lecavalier today announced his retirement from professional hockey, his 17 year NHL career concluding with the Los Angeles Kings’ first round playoff exit.
The #1 overall pick of the Tampa Bay Lightning in 1998, Lecavalier helped to revolutionize the game of hockey in Florida, becoming team captain a year later at only 19 years of age. His speed, skill and finesse helped build a core around him that brought playoff success to the Lightning, capped off with a Stanley Cup win in 2004. Lecavalier spent 14 years in Tampa, playing in four All Star Games, and winning both a Rocket Richard Trophy and King Clancy Trophy before being bought out by the Lightning in 2013. After a few years of under-use in Philadelphia, Lecavalier got some of his spark back after being traded to the Kings in early 2016.
Lecavalier’s playoff success often meant he was unavailable for Team Canada in global tournaments, playing just once at the Worlds in 2001. However, his biggest success came at the 2004 World Cup, helping Canada remain undefeated and scoring the overtime Semifinal winner, being named MVP and to the tournament All Star team with seven points in six games. Lecavalier played only once more for Canada at the 2006 Turin Olympics.
Lecavalier won his first and only IHLC in a 2004 World Cup exhibition game, winning eight straight en route to Gold and technically retiring undefeated with the IHLC! We wish Vincent and his family the very best for his retirement and the things to come!