NHL.COM - Tampa Bay Lightning center Vincent Lecavalier
(2004 Stanley Cup Champion, World Cup MVP) was a featured chat guest on NHL.Com today (January 10th). About NHL Chat: Sign in and chat with your friends and foes alike! You can also post notes on our new and improved message forums! It's the best way to connect with the hockey world!Vincent Lecavalier
| Chat Transcript | Jan. 10
Vincent has joined us. We're ready to begin the chat.
How do you find the NHL now compared to the last time round? Is it faster? Harder? Who's impressed you the most in the NHL this year?Vincent Lecavalier
It's definitely faster. I think it's a better game for us and it's a lot more enjoyable for the fans. The team that's most impressive is Ottawa. They're really solid and their whole offense is really strong right now.
How do the Lightning turn the season around?Vincent Lecavalier
Just gotta keep workin. We have a good team, so we need to just believe in ourselves. We need a couple wins. We're headed in the right direction, so I think we'll be fine.
My question is since the recent waiver move of Dave Andreychuk and there not being a captain, do you feel you have to step up into a larger leadership role?Vincent Lecavalier
I think we all do. We all need to step it up to replace a great captain like Andreychuk. I think all the young guys that have learned from him have to step up and learn from him. We need to act like that, play like that, and lead by example. I believe we can do it.
Hi Vincent -- You have done so well in face-offs this year. Any new techniques over the off season??Vincent Lecavalier
No, pretty much the same thing. I've really been focusing on it. That's all.
If you keep the same pace, you are going to achieve your best career season yet with 34 goals and 44 assists. Do you believe you have the ability to ever have a 50-goal season in the NHL?Vincent Lecavalier
You know, with the new NHL, there's gonna be a lot more guys with 50 goals. Hopefully one day I'll be there, but obviously my pace isn't there right now. It's a long season, so I'll try to do my best and get as many as I can.
Vinny, how much harder is it without a seasoned goalie this year? Do you think John Grahame can lead you guys deep into the playoffs?Vincent Lecavalier
I think so. I think it's a different role than what he's had in the past. But he'll definitely adapt to it. He'll feed off of us. Right now, we're not playing the best hockey we can, and his confidence feeds off of us as we feed off of him. When we start playing better, he will too.
If you were GM for a day, who would be the one NHL player you'd try to acquire?Vincent Lecavalier
I'd like to have Peter Forsberg. He's one of the most complete guys out there so I'd probably go with him. He does it all and is tough to play against.
How does it feel to be named to the 2006 Canada men's olympic hockey team?Vincent Lecavalier
It feels pretty good. It's a great honor in Canada and a great opportunity to play with so many great players. It's a dream come true, and we'll try to bring back the gold.
Besides Tampa Bay, what's your favorite city to play in?Vincent Lecavalier
I like Tampa. On the road, I like to go to LA. We don't go there often, but it's a lot of fun and I enjoy playing there.
Who do you think will be Canada's biggest competition at the Olympics?Vincent Lecavalier
I think the Czech Republic. They played well in the World Cup and they're one of the best teams for sure. They have a lot of talent.
Vincent, how influential has John Tortorella been on your career and on the Bolts?Vincent Lecavalier
We've had a tough relationship, but I think now we're going well. He helped us win the Stanley Cup, so it was definitely good that we had him here. I think we had a great team, but the coach is important and he also did a great job.
Do you have any rituals before each and every game (whether it be playoffs or regular season)?Vincent Lecavalier
I guess my whole day is a ritual. I do things the same way every day. From the time I go to sleep, to the afternoon, to what I eat before games.
Who is the hardest goalie to score on?Vincent Lecavalier
Marty Brodeur and Roberto Luongo. They're very big and good in the net. They cover a lot of room and when you go against them it's tough to see the net, so you don't really know where you're shooting.
What area of your game do you feel needs the most improvement?Vincent Lecavalier
I think I can work on my defensive game. I'm pretty happy with it in the last couple years, but it's definitely something you can work on all the time. And faceoffs -- even though I'm doing better this year -- it's really important.
Vinny, How did the lockout affect your teams chemistry?Vincent Lecavalier
I don't think it really has. I think we've always had a good team chemistry. We've had an up and down season but I think we'll be fine because we stick together. Everybody stays close.
You are the cover man of NHL 06. I am assuming you play the game. Do you ever get online and go head to head with friends?Vincent Lecavalier
You know what, I haven't done that yet. The game awesome and the graphics are great, but I'll have to try going head to head some day.
What do you plan on doing when your hockey career is overVincent Lecavalier
It's a tough question. I started playing in the NHL at 18, so I haven't really thought about anything it. I'm still young and don't think about doing anything else.
Do you have any hobbies or interests besides hockey?Vincent Lecavalier
I love playing golf, that's about it. I enjoy being in Florida. It's a great opportunity down here when we have days off. It's nice to take your mind away from the game and there aren't many better places. Also, sometimes I like to fish. It's a good way to relax.
That's a wrap for today's chat. We appreciate all the questions. Thanks for joining us.Vincent Lecavalier
Thanks for coming out fans. I really enjoyed talking to you guys and I'll see you at the rink!
Join us next Wed., January 18th, to chat with rookie Alexander Ovechkin of the Capitals at 1pm ET. Good bye.