Question: Tampa Bay is not exactly the center of the hockey world and you could have made money anywhere. You’ve done a lot for our community – most people don’t know the half of it. We don’t see a lot of loyalty these days from pro athletes. Why have you been so loyal to us? Well, first of all, I’m a pretty loyal guy and I really enjoy being in Tampa. The first two years were kind of weird because I’m from a big city, Montreal. Coming to Florida, at first, was a little weird but I’m really enjoying my time here and my family enjoys it here. I’ve been with the organization for so many years and been through some ups and downs and I want to finish my career here.
Name: Sharon Boyce
Hometown: Lakeland, FL
Question: Now that you’re back in Florida, how are you feeling about all the recent moves, trades and acquisitions? As the team Captain do you think you will gel quickly with your newer team mates to make the 09-10 season a lot more successful than the 08-09 season?
Thank you for the opportunity to ask the question.
I think the team will gel, no problem. That’s why all the guys came here a couple of weeks in advance, to get to know each other. Obviously, once we start playing the game, that’s when we’ll start meshing on the ice. That’s the most important thing. I think we’re very solid on defense and Smitty is back as the goalie and we added a guy like Alex Tanguay who will be a huge part of the team. I’m really excited for this year.
Hometown: Rincon, GA
Question: Dear Vinny, I am a huge fan of yours and whole Lightning Organization. Seeing as I live in Georgia, my question for you is how good does it feel to go on away ice and see lightning fans in the stands?
Of course we notice them and it’s great. Tampa fans are great and some of them travel and support us. When we go to Montreal we always see some. Of course we notice them and it’s nice to see.
Name: Danielle Carr
Hometown: Riverview, FL
Question: Vinny, I know that you like to do a lot of traveling during the summer. What is your favorite place that you have visited so far? Where is the one place that is on your "wish list" to travel to one day? Looking forward to a GREAT season with you leading the team!!! Best of luck!!!
My favorite spot to visit is probably South Africa. I went there a few years ago. There are just so many things to do there. It’s beautiful. Cape Town is unbelievable. The spot I’d like to go? It’s hard to tell. There are so many amazing places in the world. When you look at maybe Australia or New Zealand, those are places I’ve never been to. It’s never a good time of the year to visit because our summertime is their winter and when you go over there, you really need three weeks or a month and I don’t want to be away that long because I have to train in the off-season. That’s a really big trip but one day, maybe, I’ll get there.
Question: Are you going to have your poker tournament this year? If so, do you have the date yet?
Yes, we don’t have a date yet – we’re actually going to talk about that this week – but we are going to have the tournament
Question: What sports teams, other than the Lightning, do you root for?
I like Manchester United, the soccer team. Also, the Kansas City Royals, because my brother-in-law, John Bale, is a pitcher for them.
Name: Wade Crocker
Hometown: Tampa Bay
Question: Hey Vinny, my question is what are your pre-game rituals that get you mentally and physically ready for game and if music is involved, what band gets you going?
Well, I always have the same music on my I-Pod. I like Metallica, U-2, and a little bit of techno also just before I go on the ice. It gets me pumped up.
As far as the pre-game routine, I always do the same stretching in the same order. I tape my sticks first, and then I do the stretching. I always do the same thing.
Name: Don Margeson
Hometown: St. Petersburg, FL
Question: Vinny, thanks for your great efforts on behalf of local charities! With a revamped defense, the signing of Alex Tanguay and your own healthy outlook for the 09-10' season, do see yourself posting numbers like you did in your Rocket Richard trophy year?
I hope so. That’s what I want to do and I’m very motivated. I’ll do my best and obviously I do want to get back to those numbers. I’ll do my best and see what happens.
Name: Patrick R.
Hometown: Seabrook, TX
Question: Have you played with either of the Lightning’s two new players from Quebec (Stephane Veilleux and Alex Tanguay) before? Will there be an all-Quebec line? If so, who?
Ha! An all Quebec line! Well (Rick) Tocchet will decide all that. I have played with Alex – not on the same line, but we were on an Under-18 team, a Team Canada team, together and we were always together for those two weeks. We were really tight. He’s a great guy. Maybe I’ll have a chance to skate with both those guys this year.
Question: Do you think Wes Walz could still play at the N.H.L. level?
I think so, sure! He’s in great shape. Yeah, of course he could. He’s 35 or 36 and a lot of guys still play at that age. He made a decision not to, but that doesn’t mean he couldn’t play. He can skate as fast as anybody and he’s a smart hockey player. He hasn’t lost a step. Of course he could play.