Vincent Lecavalier Still Retiring After 17 Years in the NHL
The 2015 season was a forgettable one for Vincent Lecavalier. In his third season with the Philadelphia Flyers, he was a forgotten man, playing in only seven games and being a healthy scratch for the rest. General Manager Ron Hextall managed to unload Lecavalier and his contract on the LA Kings in a trade that also included defenseman Luke Schenn.
In LA, Vinny was at least given the opportunity to play, as he saw 42 games of action as well as five playoff contests for the Kings. In the end, his 18 points were the lowest output of his long successful career.
Before the trade, Lecavalier’s agent had mentioned publicly that Vinny wanted to retire since he wasn’t seeing any playing time in Philadelphia. There were times in Los Angeles where Lecavalier seemed to be rejuvenated by his new opportunity with another team. With the change of scenery, many thought would come a change of plans as well. After the Kings’ playoff exit, however, the 17 year veteran said in an interview that retirement is ‘definitely still the plan.’
If he sticks to his word and doesn’t change his mind, this is the end to an illustrious career that may end with his induction into the Pro Hockey Hall of Fame. In over 1200 games, Vinny scored more than 400 goals and finished his career with 949 points, ahead of the likes of hockey greats Chris Chelios, Bobby Orr, and Peter Forsberg, all of whom are hall-of-famers.
In addition to his scoring, he also hoisted the Stanley Cup in 2004, another barometer for which hall of fame worthiness is measured. With 16 points in the 23 games of that postseason, he was as big a contributor to the Lightning’s victory as anyone, save for Conn Smythe winner Brad Richards.
The best part for Lecavalier walking away at this moment is that he gets to go out on his own terms. Things may not have worked out in Philadelphia, but he was a contributing member of the Kings and he could no doubt still produce at some level in the future, but his decision to hang up the skates now is his and no one else’s.
Too often in sports players hang on for too long, playing far past their primes and looking like shadows of their former selves. He may have lost a step, but he could still play if he wanted to so it’s good that he is at peace with this decision because after such a career, he deserves it.
(Vincent Lecavalier Still Retiring)