Skip to content

Lecavalier to play 1,000th career game today

Jan 21, 2013, 11:09 AM EST

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. Make it six in a row: The losing continues for the Oilers

    Dec 19, 2014, 1:10 AM EST

    Chris Tierney, Andrew Ference AP

    But they did score more than two goals in a game for first time since Nov. 28.

  2. Flyers’ Giroux bites the jersey of Gudbranson

    Dec 19, 2014, 12:35 AM EST

    Screen Shot 2014-12-18 at 6.45.05 PM

    Because everyone likes a snack before they line up for a faceoff, right?

  3. Panthers need only six rounds to defeat Flyers in shootout

    Dec 18, 2014, 10:52 PM EST

    Roberto Luongo Getty Images

    And Roberto Luongo’s victory ties him for 12th on the all-time list.

  4. Crosby back for Pens after missing three games with the mumps

    Dec 18, 2014, 6:39 PM EST

    Sidney Crosby AP

    He’ll be in the lineup when Pittsburgh takes on the Avs at home.

  5. Avs’ Stuart to play game No. 1,000 tonight

    Dec 18, 2014, 6:33 PM EST

    Florida Panthers v Colorado Avalanche Getty Images

    When Colorado takes on the Penguins at Consol.

  6. Ben Eager signs with Blues’ AHL affiliate

    Dec 18, 2014, 6:07 PM EST

    Ben Eager

    Journeyman tough guy is back playing in North America.

  7. Diving fine has players more ‘aware’ of NHL’s crackdown on embellishment

    Dec 18, 2014, 5:30 PM EST

    Neal dive

    So says Sharks coach Todd McLellan, who witnessed James Neal’s cannonball on Saturday.

  8. (Video) PHT Extra: What’s wrong with the Stanley Cup champs?

    Dec 18, 2014, 5:05 PM EST

    Tyler Toffoli, Steve Ott AP

    The Kings have lost five of their last six.

  9. Comparing the shot differentials of all 30 teams

    Dec 18, 2014, 2:57 PM EST

    Anaheim Ducks v Minnesota Wild Getty Images

    The Minnesota Wild have to be frustrated.

Featured video

More than a Stanley Cup hangover?
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. S. Crosby (4180)
  2. B. Bishop (2743)
  3. D. Krejci (2728)
  4. C. Crawford (2327)
  5. C. Kunitz (2157)
  1. C. Perry (1869)
  2. O. Palat (1868)
  3. B. Elliott (1789)
  4. T. Oshie (1678)
  5. J. Toews (1515)