Vincent Lecavalier (Debora Robinson/NHLI via Getty Images)
Vincent Lecavalier’s play as a member of the Los Angeles Kings had some wondering whether he would forego retirement and play one more season. However, Lecavalier confirmed Sunday that he still plans to hang up his skates.
Vincent Lecavalier said when he was traded from Philadelphia to Los Angeles that the 2015-16 campaign would be his final season and he would retire no matter the outcome of the Kings’ season.
But that was before Lecavalier, 36, potted 10 goals and 17 points in 42 games in Los Angeles and looked like he still had something left in the tank. After being scratched more often than not as a Flyer over the early portion of the season, Lecavalier looked like he could still be an effective veteran, even if his best years were far behind him. However, Lecavalier appears to be a man of his word.
In an exit interview Sunday, though, Lecavalier confirmed that his plans haven’t changed and that 2015-16 was indeed his final season in the NHL. That will put an end to his 17-season career.
When he was acquired by the Kings, Lecavalier said he simply wanted the opportunity to get back into the lineup after a tough time with the Flyers.
"It’s just a matter of having the chance to have some type of role. Whatever role that is, I’d be ready to fill it and help that team win," Lecavalier told ESPN's Pierre LeBrun in January. "That’s the most important thing at my age and where I’ve been; the last few years have been really tough. I just really want to win and help be part of that puzzle to help a team win."
According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, it’s not entirely official as Lecavalier has yet to file the necessary paperwork for retirement, but he won’t be coming back for one more year. He currently has two years remaining on a five-year, $22.5-million contract he signed in 2013, but that contract — and cap hit — will disappear when the veteran forward hangs up his skates.
He’ll retire with 1212 games played, 421 goals and 949 points, with another 75 points, 26 goals and 56 games in the post-season. Lecavalier won the Rocket Richard Trophy in 2006-07 when he netted 52 goals in 82 games in what was the best campaign of his career, bar none. That same season, Lecavalier finished fourth in Hart Trophy voting. Lecavalier won a Stanley Cup in 2004 as a member of the Lightning, scoring nine goals and 16 points in 23 games.
The final five seasons of Lecavalier’s career were far from his best, but he had an outstanding career and was one of the best players in the league for several seasons into and during his prime. When asked what his plans were post-career, Lecavalier said only that he plans on focusing on his duties as a father.