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. Bolts shrug off talk of Madison Square Garden ‘mystique’

    May 28, 2015, 8:58 PM EDT

    Tampa Bay Lightning v New York Rangers - Game Five Getty Images

    Victor Hedman: “We’re prepared for this.”

  2. Devils’ Shero: No decision yet regarding Clowe’s future

    May 28, 2015, 7:47 PM EDT

    Ryane Clowe AP

    Retirement remains a possibility, and it might be his call.

  3. Schmaltz to Schwartz? Blues sign 2012 first-rounder

    May 28, 2015, 6:35 PM EDT

    2012 NHL Entry Draft - Portraits 2012 NHL Entry Draft - Portraits

    Even their first names are similar (Jordan and Jaden). Fun times ahead …

  4. Politician accuses ‘separatist’ Peladeau of turning NHL off Quebec City

    May 28, 2015, 5:28 PM EDT

    Nordiques Rally Hockey AP

    “The fact that Mr. Peladeau is a separatist…we know very well whether it’s the owners of the team in Toronto or the owners of the Canadiens, they’re not separatists and they don’t want Quebec to separate.”

  5. DeBoer predicts ‘big bounce-back’ in San Jose

    May 28, 2015, 4:52 PM EDT

    Peter DeBoer Getty Images

    Says that “the expectation is to win right now.”

  6. (Video) PHT Extra: Health, not history, should be Lightning’s major concern

    May 28, 2015, 3:48 PM EDT

    New York Rangers v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game Six Getty Images

    Meanwhile, in the West, Corey Crawford has the edge in big-game experience over Frederik Andersen.

  7. Sabres name Bylsma head coach

    May 28, 2015, 3:15 PM EDT

    BOSTON, MA - JUNE 05:  Dan Bylsma of the Pittsburgh Penguins speaks to the media following a 2-1 double overtime loss to the Boston Bruins during Game Three of the Eastern Conference Final of the 2013 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the TD Garden on June 5, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Pens to receive third-round pick in 2016 as compensation.

  8. ’15 Draft prospect Connor wins USHL Player of the Year

    May 28, 2015, 2:21 PM EDT

    USA Blue v USA White - 2014 USA Hockey Junior Evaluation Camp Getty Images

    After scoring 80 points in 56 games for Youngstown.

  9. Lundqvist on Game 7: ‘You’re definitely nervous, but it comes down to teamwork’

    May 28, 2015, 2:08 PM EDT

    Canadiens Rangers Hockey AP

    Rangers goalie knows he can’t rely on history to defeat the Lightning.

  10. Report: Bylsma to Sabres being held up by compensation issue

    May 28, 2015, 1:04 PM EDT

    BOSTON, MA - JUNE 05:  Dan Bylsma of the Pittsburgh Penguins speaks to the media following a 2-1 double overtime loss to the Boston Bruins during Game Three of the Eastern Conference Final of the 2013 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the TD Garden on June 5, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images) Getty Images

    The former Penguins coach is still under contract to Pittsburgh.

  11. Report: Roy wants to bring Radulov to Colorado

    May 28, 2015, 12:27 PM EDT

    Radulov AP

    Former Preds forward, who played for Roy in junior, is currently with KHL club CSKA.

  12. Terry Murray would ‘absolutely’ take job as Hakstol’s assistant

    May 28, 2015, 12:22 PM EDT

    Buffalo Sabres v Los Angeles Kings Getty Images

    Has spent the past three seasons coaching the Flyers’ AHL affiliate.

  13. Report: Gagne wants to resume playing career

    May 28, 2015, 12:05 PM EDT

    St. Louis Blues v Boston Bruins Getty Images

    Spent part of last season with the Bruins

  14. Report: Avs interested in Groulx, Farrish for assistant gig

    May 28, 2015, 10:50 AM EDT

    Canada Training Sessions - 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship Getty Images

    The former led Canada to gold at the most recent World Junior tourney.

  15. Caps’ Backstrom undergoes arthroscopic hip surgery

    May 28, 2015, 10:15 AM EDT

    Nicklas Backstrom Getty Images

    He’s expected to be ready for the start of training camp.

Featured video

Which teams have the Game 7 edge?
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. R. Nash (1561)
  2. M. Carle (1499)
  3. K. Yandle (1351)
  4. A. Vermette (1341)
  5. N. Horton (1306)