Skip to content

Lecavalier to play 1,000th career game today

Jan 21, 2013, 11:09 AM EDT

Vincent Lecavalier Getty Images

The No. 1 pick of the 1998 NHL Entry Draft will make history this afternoon.

Vincent Lecavalier — captain of the Tampa Bay Lightning — will play in his 1,000th NHL contest when the Bolts take on the Islanders in a matinee affair.

“I’m excited about it, but you don’t take it for granted,” he told the Tampa Bay Tribune. “When I came in (to the league) at 18, I wasn’t telling myself I was going to play 1,000 games, because you never know what’s going to happen.”

The 32-year-old was taken by Tampa Bay at the ’98 draft and has spent his entire career with the organization, putting him in some distinguished company among players that have played 1000 games with the same franchise.

Notables include Nicklas Lidstrom, Steve Yzerman, Alex Delvecchio (Detroit), Stan Mikita (Chicago), Gilbert Perreault (Buffalo), George Armstrong (Toronto), Henri Richard, Bob Gainey, Jean Beliveau (Montreal) and Denis Potvin (New York Islanders).

Current active players that have accomplished the feat include Jarome Iginla, Daniel Alfredsson, Patrick Marleau, Patrik Elias and Chris Phillips.

Now one of the oldest players on the Lightning roster, Lecavalier is looked upon for veteran leadership and experience — though that doesn’t mean he’s not a vital on-ice contributor.

Bolts head coach Guy Boucher praised his captain for being in fantastic shape to start the year, impressive given that Lecavalier didn’t play during the lockout.

“It’s the best shape I’ve seen him in,” Boucher said following Tampa’s 6-3 season-opening win over Washington. “The league has changed. For the big guys who didn’t necessarily have great speed, that’s a tough thing. They have to elevate their game.

“Not many guys all of a sudden can have jump and speed at that age. Vinny just did that now.”

Update: NHL.com’s Dan Rosen provides this unique factoid:

Latest Posts
  1. Ex-NHLer Ling charged with battery, theft

    Jul 30, 2015, 10:50 AM EDT

    David Ling in action Getty Images

    Alleged incident involved a female victim.

  2. Jacobs feels firing Chiarelli was right move, cites cap management

    Jul 30, 2015, 9:00 AM EDT

    Jeremy Jacobs Getty Images

    The former general manager “wasn’t prepared to make the changes that needed to be made.”

  3. Former NHL forward Berezin arrested for alleged fraud

    Jul 29, 2015, 10:40 PM EDT

    Sergei Berezin Getty Images

    He played in 502 games, primarily with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

  4. Coyotes sign German League standout goalie Treutle

    Jul 29, 2015, 9:12 PM EDT

    Niklas Treutle Getty Images

    The 24-year-old gives agreed to an entry-level deal.

  5. Shero: Buying out Zubrus creates flexibility to add forward

    Jul 29, 2015, 6:27 PM EDT

    Dainius Zubrus Getty Images

    “It really wasn’t about Dainius himself.”

  6. Gillette Stadium will host Bruins-Habs alumni game ahead of Winter Classic

    Jul 29, 2015, 3:31 PM EDT

    2016 Winter Classic Logo

    The contest will air on Dec. 31 while the Classic itself is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. ET on Jan. 1.

  7. Ryan Murray: ‘I have to show up and prove it’

    Jul 29, 2015, 2:28 PM EDT

    Ryan Murray AP

    Staying healthy would help, too.

  8. Voynov serving sentence at jail that once advertised it had flat screen TVs

    Jul 29, 2015, 1:22 PM EDT

    2014 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Five Getty Images

    The Seal Beach Detention Center isn’t exactly Shawshank.

  9. Campbell credits ECHL stint for turning his game around

    Jul 29, 2015, 1:03 PM EDT

    Dallas Stars training camp Getty Images

    “I relaxed down there and came back with the same attitude and everything kind of took care of itself.”

  10. Zubrus on unconditional waivers for purpose of terminating his contract

    Jul 29, 2015, 12:34 PM EDT

    New York Rangers v New Jersey Devils Getty Images

    Veteran forward had just four goals and six assists in 74 games last season.

  11. Talbot knows he has a ‘great opportunity’ in Edmonton

    Jul 29, 2015, 11:09 AM EDT

    Cam Talbot AP

    Can he give the Oilers the goaltending they so badly need?

  12. Report: Rangers prospect Andersson headed to North America

    Jul 29, 2015, 9:00 AM EDT

    ERC Ingolstadt v EV Zug - Champions Hockey League Getty Images

    Spent last season with Lugano in the Swiss League.

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. D. Stepan (2497)
  2. B. Holtby (2055)
  3. G. Bettman (2013)
  4. A. Larsson (1967)
  5. A. Semin (1616)
  1. L. Couture (1512)
  2. J. Toews (1471)
  3. A. Chiasson (1364)
  4. M. Johansson (1294)
  5. C. Wilson (1117)