TAMPA BAY - The Tampa Bay Lightning today announced that the team would welcome home former captain Vincent Lecavalier on October 18, 2016 during the team's game against the Florida Panthers at AMALIE Arena. Lecavalier, who played 14 seasons in Tampa Bay after being chosen first overall by the club in the 1998 National Hockey League Entry Draft, retired from professional hockey after playing the 2016-17 season with the Philadelphia Flyers and the Los Angeles Kings. He and his family have since returned to live in Tampa Bay.
"We are thrilled that Vinny and his family have opted to return to Tampa Bay," said Lightning Chief Executive Officer Steve Griggs. "In addition to his great accomplishments on the ice, including the Stanley Cup win in 2004, Vinny was a great contributor off the ice through all of his community outreach. His everlasting legacy here is a certainty; now we welcome him home as a leading member of the Lightning's alumni family. We look forward with him to his next chapter."
Video: Vinny Lecavalier returns to Amalie Arena at Fan Fest.
During his 14 seasons with Tampa Bay, Lecavalier played in 1,037 regular season games, amassing 383 goals, 491 assists and 874 points. He also skated in 63 Stanley Cup Playoff games with the Lightning, highlighted by the Stanley Cup win in 2004. Lecavalier is the franchise's all-time leader for games played, goals and power-play goals (112). He ranks second for total points, assists and game-winning goals (60).
The Ile Bizard, Quebec native served as captain of the Lightning from 1999-01 and then again from 2008-13. Lecavalier represented Tampa Bay at the NHL All-Star Game on four occasions, serving as starter and captain in 2008. He was the first Lightning player to win the Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy as the NHL's top goal-scorer, eclipsing the 50-goal plateau when he scored 52 times in 2006-07. In 2008, Lecavalier was awarded the King Clancy Memorial Trophy for leadership on and off the ice along with the NHL Foundation Player Award for his community work in Tampa Bay.
Lauded for his work with young cancer patients, Lecavalier pledged $3 million to All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg in October of 2007 and just over two years later, he participated in the ribbon cutting ceremony for the Vincent Lecavalier Pediatric Cancer and Blood Disorders Center at All Children's.
Lecavalier officially retired from the NHL on June 21, 2016.