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Lightning, Lecavalier deny trade rumors

Tuesday, 01.13.2009 / 3:56 PM / News

By Staff

The talk was enough to stoke debate for weeks -- Vincent Lecavalier from the Tampa Bay Lightning to the Montreal Canadiens for a package of players and draft picks.

But both Lecavalier and the Lightning said the rumors were just that, rumors.

"I am from there. My family is from there," Lecavalier told Montreal's La Presse. "My friends as well. I grew up with the Canadiens. I understand there are a lot of rumors presently. But they are rumors. I have heard them throughout my career. I like playing in Tampa, I am a loyal person."

Lightning General Manager Brian Lawton also dismissed the reports.

"To suggest we're engaging in conversations to trade him or we're shopping him to all teams in the National Hockey League is completely inaccurate," Lawton told the St. Petersburg Times. "It's false, egregious and it's abusive toward the player. I can tell you if a player of that stature were ever going to be traded, I would go meet with him, face to face, and discuss the situation. That has never happened."

But with the Lightning having struggled this season, Lawton went on to point out "There are no players who are untouchable."

"And that has nothing to do with Vinny Lecavalier," Lawton went on to say. "That has to do with the status of any team I'm managing. It has to do with our macro goal of being committed to winning, being committed to giving our fans a winner. No player supersedes the goals of any team I'm working on."

Lecavalier told La Presse he hadn't been following the grist from the rumor mill, but had gotten calls from family and friends.
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We've got to find a way to win a game. He's played well in the minors, now he gets his opportunity. We tried [with Jonathan Bernier]. The way I look at it, you get opportunities and you make the most of it. That's what [James Reimer] did. Now another opportunity is here and Sparks ... you gotta grab it. Is he ready? We'll find out.

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