After 17 Seasons Former Tampa Bay Lightning Captain Vincent Lecavalier Retires from NHL

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Vincent Lecavalier announced on Tuesday that he is hanging up his skates after 17 years in the National Hockey League.

The 36-year-old Lecavalier spent 14 years with the Tampa Bay Lightning, serving as captain for the Bolts on two occasions. He helped lead the Lightning to raise the Stanley Cup in 2004. The following season he was able to win the Rocket Richard Trophy as the leading scorer in the NHL as well as the King Clancy Trophy for his contributions to helping grow the game in the Tampa area.

Before the start of the 2013-2014 season, Lecavalier signed a contract with the Philadelphia Flyers, where he lasted three seasons before being traded last January, to the Los Angeles Kings, along with Luke Schenn for Jordan Weal and a third round pick in the 2016 NHL Draft.

Lecavalier said, “As I publicly announced at the time I was traded to the Los Angeles Kings, the 2015-2016 season would be me last in the NHL. I recently informed the Kings that I am stepping away from the game and will no longer play professional hockey. It is my desire and intention to retire.”

He added, “Hockey has provided me so much in my lifetime but requires an incredible commitment. It is now time for me to devote more time to my family.”

While centering the third line for the Kings, Lecavalier scored 10 goals and seven assist in 42 games. He also played some time on the power play. During their five game, Stanley Cup Playoff Opening Round loss to the San Jose Sharks, he scored one goal and one assist.

The number one overall pick in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft, has scored 421 goals and 528 assists in 1,212 career regular season games. In 75 postseason battles, he has put up 26 goals and 30 assists.

He helped lead Canada to a gold medal in the 2004 World Cup of Hockey, as well as represented his country at the 2006 Torino Winter Olympics.

Lecavalier said, “I want to take this opportunity to thank the people who have helped me along the way and shared this journey with me. First and foremost, I would like to thank my parents, my wife, Caroline, my brother, Philippe, my sister, Genevieve and my entire family. I could not have accomplished anything without your love and support.”

He went on to continue, “Thank you to the Tampa Bay Lightning for drafting me and providing me the opportunity to embark on my NHL career. I will never forget winning the Cup together in 2004, and the incredible support from the Lightning fans. To the L.A. Kings, thank you for providing me the opportunity to finish my career on a positive note. To the coaches who have developed me and challenged me, you made me a better player and person. To my agent, Kent Hughes, thank you for all of your efforts and support throughout my career.”

Lecavalier added, “Hockey is the greatest team sport in the world. There is nothing like sharing a locker room with your teammates and competing together day in and day out. I have made lifelong friends and I would like to thank them for making this an unforgettable journey. Thank you.”