The Tampa Bay Lightning will retire the second number in their franchise history this season, when they raise Vincent Lecavalier’s #4 to the rafters on February 10th. Lecavalier, who last played in 2015-16, is the franchise leader in goals and was once the NHL’s youngest ever captain (since broken by multiple players) when he was given the “C” at just 19.
In 1,037 games with the Lightning, the 1998 first-overall pick scored 874 points and led them to a Stanley Cup in 2004. Twice he was nominated for the Hart Trophy as league MVP, including 2006-07 when he led the league in goals with 52. A prototypical number-one center, Lecavalier played an exceptional all around game that combined speed, power and skill. He finished his career with 949 points in 1,212 games.
- Despite spending time in the middle during the preseason, J.T. Miller will be back in his familiar wing position when the season starts, Alain Vigneault confirmed today to a group of reporters including Dan Rosen of NHL.com. Vigneault has been impressed with the play of 2017 first-round draft picks Lias Andersson and Filip Chytil, as well as former University of Michigan standout Boo Nieves. While it has been expected for a while that just one of the young players would make the roster with David Desharnais taking the other center role, there is a growing suspicion that both Andersson and Chytil could start the year with the Rangers. That would be quite the turnaround for a team that hadn’t even drafted in the first round for several years.
- Buffalo Sabres forward Evan Rodrigues was injured this weekend in a preseason game against the Toronto Maple Leafs when Andreas Borgman crumpled him into the boards, and will be held out for the time being with a hand injury. Head coach Phil Housley was non-committal when asked if it would linger into the regular season, similar to the way he spoke about Jake McCabe’s upper-body injury. Both players were expected to be in the lineup for opening night, which now could open spots for some others to start the year in Buffalo instead of Rochester.