Vincent Lecavalier will be welcomed home by the Tampa Bay Lightning during a game against the Florida Panthers at Amalie Arena on Oct. 18.
Lecavalier, the No. 1 pick of the 1998 NHL Draft, played 14 of his 17 NHL seasons with the Lightning (1998-2013). He retired on June 21 after playing last season with the Philadelphia Flyers and Los Angeles Kings, and lives in Tampa Bay with his wife, Carolina, and their three children.
"It means a lot," Lecavalier told the Tampa Bay Times. "I spent 14 years. The fans, they're clapping, they seem happy to see me. It's pretty cool."
"Everybody's coming back, it's crazy. They all seem to creep back. It's funny what Tampa can do to you. Really feels like home."
Lecavalier served two terms as captain with the Lightning (1999-01, 2008-13). His 383 goals, 112 power-play goals and 1,037 games played are Lightning records, and he ranks second in points (874), assists (491) and game-winning goals (60). He finished his NHL career with 421 goals and 528 assists in 1,212 games.
Lecavalier pledged $3 million to All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida, in October of 2007. Two years later he participated in the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Vincent Lecavalier Pediatric Cancer and Blood Disorders Center at All Children's.
"We are thrilled that Vinny and his family have opted to return to Tampa Bay," Lightning chief executive officer Steve Griggs said. "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."