The Tampa Bay Lightning will retire the No. 4 worn by the franchise's all-time leading goal-scorer, Vincent Lecavalier. The former Bolt captain becomes the second player in the history of the Lightning organization to have his jersey retired, joining Martin St. Louis. He played in 1,037 games over 14 seasons with the team, tallying 383 goals and 491 assists for 874 points. He will be honored on Saturday, February 10, 2018, when the Lightning host the Los Angeles Kings at AMALIE Arena, presented by DEX Imaging.
Lecavalier, drafted first overall by Tampa Bay in the 1998 NHL Draft, is the Lightning's all-time leader for games played. Lecavalier also ranks second in franchise history for both assists and points, trailing only Martin St. Louis in both categories. Lecavalier's 14 seasons with the Lightning, the most of any player in Tampa Bay history. On March 1, 2000, he was named captain of the Bolts, becoming the youngest captain in NHL history at the time at only 19 years and 314 days old.
"We are thrilled to retire another one of our franchise's great players, and it's extra special since this year we will be celebrating our 25th anniversary", Vinik said. "Vinny was a tremendous player during his 14 years with the team and a true ambassador and hero for many people in Tampa Bay for his tireless work in the community."
"It is a great honor to have my number retired and I'd like to thank the Lightning organization and Jeff Vinik for recognizing me with this achievement," Lecavalier said. "The Tampa Bay community and our fans have treated me and my family so amazingly that this honor is extra special to share it with everyone. My family and I are very excited for February 10 when we can share so many memories."
The Ile Bizard, Quebec native is one of three players to ever be selected by the Lightning with the first overall pick in the NHL Entry Draft. Lecavalier was an integral part of the 2004 Stanley Cup championship team. In 2006-07 he won the Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy, awarded to the NHL's top goal scorer during the regular season, when he scored 52 goals, then a Lightning record. Lecavalier still holds the Lightning single-season record for most points in a season with 108, set during the 2006-07 campaign. He has represented the Lightning at the NHL All-Star Game four times in his career (2009, 2008, 2007 and 2003).
Lecavalier's impact will forever be remembered in the Tampa Bay community, and he was honored by the NHL for his community service in 2008, winning both the King Clancy Memorial Trophy and the NHL Foundation Player Award, in recognition of his commitment and service to charities in the Tampa Bay community. In October 2007, Lecavalier announced a $3-million commitment to build The Vincent Lecavalier Pediatric Cancer and Blood Disorder Center at All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg, FL. It opened in 2009 and the Center was one of the largest pediatric cancer centers in Florida, occupying half of the seventh floor in the All Children's Hospital.