Vincent Lecavalier is a former professional ice hockey player who had a successful career in the National Hockey League (NHL). Known for his skill, leadership, and offensive prowess, Lecavalier made a significant impact on the sport during his time on the ice.
Vincent Lecavalier was born on April 21, 1980, in Ile Bizard, Quebec, Canada. He grew up playing hockey and displayed exceptional talent from a young age. During his younger years, Vincent Lecavalier participated in the 1994 Quebec International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament, representing a minor ice hockey team from Montreal’s North Shore.
Lecavalier’s passion for the sport led him to excel in his early years, ultimately setting the stage for a remarkable professional career.
Vincent Lecavalier attended John Rennie High School in Pointe-Claire, Quebec for two years (1992-1993). After that, he moved to Athol Murray College of Notre Dame in Wilcox, Saskatchewan. It was here that he met Brad Richards, a former teammate and Conn Smythe Trophy winner in 2004, who became his best friend. They were roommates at Notre Dame and later played together for the Rimouski Océanic, the Tampa Bay Lightning, and Ak Bars Kazan. Currently, Lecavalier lives on Davis Island in Tampa.
Lecavalier’s romantic life began with Caroline Portelance in 2001, and after a decade of dating, they tied the knot in 2011. The pair share three children: Olivia, Gabe, and Amelia.
Vincent Lecavalier spent two seasons playing junior hockey with the Rimouski Océanic, a team in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL). His exceptional performance during this period cemented his reputation as a promising prospect for the NHL. In his inaugural season with the Océanic, he was awarded the Michel Bergeron Trophy, acknowledging him as the QMJHL’s best rookie forward, and also received the RDS Cup for being the most outstanding rookie overall.
Lecavalier’s NHL journey began in 1998 when he was selected first overall in the NHL Entry Draft by the Tampa Bay Lightning. He quickly established himself as a key player for the Lightning and became the team’s captain in 2000. Over the course of his career, Lecavalier showcased his offensive skills, recording numerous impressive seasons with consistent point production.
Lecavalier’s most notable achievements came during the 2003-2004 season. He played an instrumental role in leading the Tampa Bay Lightning to their first-ever Stanley Cup championship, earning the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player of the playoffs. Lecavalier continued to thrive in the league, consistently contributing to the Lightning’s success.
In 2013, Lecavalier signed with the Philadelphia Flyers and played two seasons with the team before announcing his retirement in June 2016. Throughout his career, he accumulated impressive statistics, amassing 949 points in 1,212 regular-season games.
On January 21, 2013, Vincent Lecavalier reached a significant career milestone, playing in his 1000th NHL game and becoming the 280th player in the NHL history to do so. All of these games were played for the Tampa Bay Lightning, who celebrated this achievement in their subsequent home game on January 25, presenting him with various gifts, including a silver stick engraved with his name.
In June 2013, the New York Post alleged that the Lightning and the Toronto Maple Leafs had engaged in trade talks with the intent of moving Lecavalier to Toronto. According to the report, the Maple Leafs would be compensated for buying out Lecavalier’s contract, and he would then be able to return to Tampa as an unrestricted free agent on a lower salary cap.
However, the Maple Leafs refuted the report, and soon after, NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly issued a memorandum to all the league’s teams, cautioning against deals that could be interpreted as violating the collective bargaining agreement, which bars teams from re-signing players they’ve bought out for at least one year. The next day, it was announced by the Lightning that they were buying out Lecavalier’s contract, making their longest-serving player an unrestricted free agent. The buyout would compensate Lecavalier a total of $32.67 million, while also eliminating his $7.727 million salary cap impact on the Lightning.
Lecavalier is known for his winning overtime goal against the Capitals in the second game of the 2011 2nd round series. In the film “The Rocket: The Maurice Richard Story,” he played the role of the renowned Montreal Canadiens centre, Jean Béliveau, wearing number 4 in Béliveau’s honour.
Lecavalier was the cover athlete for EA Sports’ video game NHL 06. In 2007, he donated $3 million to a new All Children’s Hospital being built in St. Petersburg, Florida, which was subsequently named the Vincent Lecavalier Pediatric Cancer and Blood Disorders Center as a tribute to him.
The Tampa Bay Lightning honored him by retiring his number 4 jersey on February 10, 2018, making him the second player in the franchise history to receive this honour, the first being Martin St. Louis. Moreover, on March 17, 2023, Lecavalier was inducted into the Tampa Bay Lightning Hall of Fame as part of its first class.
His net worth is estimated to be around $45 million dollars.
Vincent Lecavalier’s contributions to the sport of hockey were recognized through various accolades. Some of his notable achievements include: