Date of Birth:  April 21, 1980
 Place of Birth: Ile Bizzard, QC
 Residence: N/A
 Years on National Team:
 N/A
 Height:  6'4"
 Weight: 207 lbs

With 44 goals and 71 helpers for Rimouski of the QMJHL in 1997-98, Vincent Lecavalier was named to the CHL's First All-Star Team , but more tellingly was tabbed as the Quebec league's top draft prospect (Michael Bossy Trophy). The latter honour was right on the money as the prolific young scorer was selected first overall in the 1998 draft.

The jump from junior hockey in his native province of Quebec to pro hockey in Florida would prove to be quite a challenge. It didn't help that the owner of the Lightning was quickly calling Lecavalier the Michael Jordan of the NHL.

Under glaring spotlight as a rookie in 1998-99, Lecavalier struggled to score 13 goals and 15 assists in 82 games. The following season he would improve dramatically with 67 points, but would take steps backwards the following two seasons with 51 and 37 points respectively. At the same time Lecavalier was openly battling with the Lightning's brash and outspoken new coach John Tortorella.

For a while it seemed impossible to see the two larger than life personalities co-existing. But the two personalities then decided to call a truce and start working together. Once that transpired, things turned around for Lecavalier and, in turn, for the team as well.

During the 2002-03 season, Lecavalier more than doubled his scoring total from a year earlier, notching 33 goals and 45 assists. This marked his one and only All-Star game appearance thus far. A year later, his offensive numbers would drop off a bit (32-34-66), but for the first time in his career, he would finish a season in the black with a plus-23.

With Lecavalier and other players like Brad Richards -- who he has been friends with since they played together as 14-year-olds at prep school in Saskatchewan -- and Martin St. Louis stepping up, the Lightning would go on to win the 2003-04 Stanley Cup.

Late in 2004, Lecavalier would end up replacing an injured Steve Yzerman on Team Canada at the World Cup of Hockey. In the semi-finals against the Czech Republic he would score the overtime winner that helped Canada get to the finals, where they downed Finland to capture gold. Lecavalier would lead Canada in scoring at the tournament with seven points (2-5-7).




2006 Hockey Coverage