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The Lightning Insider: All-Star Edition

by Lightning Insider / Tampa Bay Lightning

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Well, it was cold yesterday, but it is even colder today! For some reason they refuse to shovel the sidewalks here. I think I've almost fallen on my backside four or five times. Not even the weather, or the sidewalks, could keep the spirits down this morning as Vinny Lecavalier and Steven Stamkos joined a crew of other players that included Alex Kovalev, Mike Komisarek and Luke Schenn to open a new room at St. Justine Hospital, much like the Lightning room at Tampa General Hospital that offers a safe-haven for children. The project was spearheaded by former NHL star Pat LaFontaine and he was also on hand. After a short press conference (although everything takes longer in Quebec because it all has to be done in two languages) the players were ushered up to the room where the children were waiting. The room was a circus of league personnel, media, patients and the players, but it was a great event. Its always great to see the players interact with these kids and how much the players really light up the kids' faces.

After getting back from the hospital a couple of us went down near the Bell Center to a place called Baton Rouge. Don't let the name of the place, or the fact that you can order a Louisiana chicken sandwich, fool you. There was nothing Louisiana about it, so LSU Tiger fans probably wouldn't feel like home. The place was really cool though. It was about 12:30 p.m. and there were businessmen in there drinking. Good times!

Shortly after 2:30 p.m. Lecavalier entered the ball room at the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth Hotel for a little media availability. Unlike the other players who stood at smaller podiums, Lecavalier had a press conference before the other Eastern Conference All-Stars took to their stations due to the volume of requests for him. The question and answer session lasted about 17 minutes and included questions in both English and French. Not that anyone would argue that Montreal isn't a hockey hotbed, but if you did all you would have to do is come to this city. They love their hockey and they LOVE Vincent Lecavalier. After a quick interview and a photo session with NHL Images Lecavalier was whisked out a side door and he was gone. I've never been too close to paparazzi, but they are on him like white on rice.

Don't forget to check out Lightning TV for complete coverage of today's events and exclusive behind-the-scenes interviews. Most of all, don't miss tomorrow's action as Lecavalier will wear a microphone during the open practice exclusively for Lightning TV.

That's all for today. Tonight I'll be heading out to the Hockey News All-Star Party. Should be some good fun. If anything happens I'll be sure to pass it along.

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