It’s hard to believe that Vincent Lecavalier has been in Bolt Blue for 1,000 games. One thousand games is quite the milestone for any NHL player, but what makes him unique is that he’s played every single one of them in a Lightning uniform. It’s rare that a player is able to play their entire NHL career for one team. Fortunately for us, that team is The Tampa Bay Lightning. He is strong, he is loyal, and he is a great leader, despite the article that I wrote a while back on why Martin St. Louis Should Be Captain. While Marty is the leader that is definitely worthy of wearing the ‘C’, Vinny is very much so as well. In the first few games of the season, he appears to be back. He seems to be playing with much more of a purpose, and he is looking better than he has in along time. A friend who works for ESPN who will remain unnamed told me this: “Wow, Vinny looked great out there tonight” (After the home opener) “He played better than he has in two years!”
Vinny’s 1,000th career NHL game was held at the Nassau Coliseum on Monday against the New York Islanders. He is the 280th player in NHL history to accomplish this. He was the Lightning’s 1st overall draft pick in the 1998 NHL Entry draft. He ranks 5th all time in NHL history for game played by 1st overall picks by their drafting team. He’s 29th in players currently playing in the league, and is the 49th player to play 1,000 or more games for only 1 NHL franchise. He’s the 8th player still active in the NHL to do so with only one team.
The Tampa Bay Lightning will honor this great accomplishment on Friday’s home game on January 25th vs the Ottawa Senators at 7:30pm. The ceremony will take place prior to the puck drop. He will be presented with a commemorative silver stick, like the one that was presented to Vaclav Prospal (Vinny Prospal) last season for his 1,000th game that Vinny Lecavalier was fortunate enough to take part in.
Vincent Lecavalier is a native of Ile Bizard, Quebec. He’s one of three players to be selected by the Lightning with the first overall draft pick in the NHL Entry Draft. He’s was a major influence in the 2004 Stanley Cup championship team. In 2006-2007 he won the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy for most goals scored with 52. At that time he set a new Lightning record, He still holds the franchise record for most points in a season with 108 in 2006-2007. He’s a 4 time All-Star, representing the Lightning in 2003, 2007, 2008, and 2009.
His totals for 1,000 games are 374 goals, 470 assists to total 844 points. That’s not too shabby! If he keeps playing like he his, Vinny might be on his way to another Stanley Cup, another trip to the NHL Awards, and a 5th time in an All-Star jersey. Rebok has purchased 1,000 game tickets to be given away in honor of is 1,000th game. Fans can win them by visiting the Lightning’s official Facebook page. I am glad that he is the team captain, and that I will be there to witness the ceremony. Pictures to come! Congratulations, Vinny! Here’s to a long and healthy season.