Vincent Lecavalier (Debora Robinson/NHLI via Getty Images)
Vincent Lecavalier made his retirement from the NHL official Tuesday, saying the 2015-16 campaign was the last of his career. Lecavalier finishes his career with 421 goals and 949 points in 1,212 games.
Upon being traded to the Los Angeles Kings, Vincent Lecavalier said his time in the NHL would come to a close following one final playoff push. That push lasted all of five games, but the veteran center followed through on his word that his career was coming to a close, making his retirement official Tuesday afternoon.
In a statement released through the Kings, the 36-year-old said that he has informed the team of his decision and will now devote his time to his family.
“I want to take this opportunity to thank the people who have helped me along the way and shared this journey with me,” Lecavalier said in the release. “First and foremost, I would like to thank my parents, my wife, Caroline, my brother Philippe, sister Genevieve and my entire family. I could not have accomplished anything without your love and support.”
Lecavalier also went on to thank the Tampa Bay Lightning, with whom he spent the first 14 seasons of his career. It was in Tampa Bay that Lecavalier had the most successful years of his career, including his Rocket Richard-winning season in 2006-07, when he posted a career-high 52 goals and 108 points in 82 games. That season saw him named to the second all-star team and finish fourth in Hart Trophy winning.
Maybe Lecavalier’s greatest accomplishment, though, was helping the Lightning to the 2003-04 Stanley Cup. During that post-season, Lecavalier notched nine goals and 16 points in 23 games and it was one of the best playoff runs of his career.
Lecavalier remains the longest-tenured Lightning played in franchise history with 1,037 games played in Tampa Bay, the franchise’s leading goal scorer with 383 and second all-time, behind only Martin St. Louis, with 874 points.
Lecavalier also took the time to thank the Kings “for providing (him) the opportunity to finish (his) career on a positive note.”
Conspicuously absent from the release, however, was a thank you to the Philadelphia Flyers organization, which signed the Lecavalier to a five-year, $22.5-million contract following his buyout from the Lightning. Lecavalier’s stay in Philadelphia was rife with issues, namely that he barely played and was a healthy scratch more often than not in the final two seasons of his tenure there.
This past season, Lecavalier played only seven games before a mid-season trade sent him to Los Angeles. Over the 42 games he spent as a Kings, Lecavalier scored 10 goals and 17 points.
Lecavalier retires with 421 goals and 949 points in 1,212 games played.
“Hockey is the greatest team sport in the world,” Lecavalier said in the release. “There is nothing like sharing a locker room with your teammates and competing together day in and day out. I have made lifelong friends and I’d like to thank them for making this an unforgettable journey."