We all love it when we’re right, but not so much when we’re wrong. That goes without saying. However, this is a case where this writer was wrong and is, quite frankly, happy to admit it.
Earlier this season, I scoffed at him, thinking he should have been retired by now. After all, his numbers have steadily declined in the recent years — of course, in fairness, that is the case with even the best of players. Still, my opinion of Vincent Lecavalier as a performer wasn’t as strong as it once was.
After being bought out by the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2013, Lecavalier moved on to Philadelphia where, after a 20-goal 2013-14 campaign, notched just 20 points in 57 games the following year before mustering just one assist in seven outings this season. Then, the 35-year-old was acquired with Luke Schenn by the Los Angeles Kings for Jordan Weal to add some veteran presence. But if that’s all Kings fans were expecting — and this writer definitely was — than they would be in for a big surprise.
While his tenure in Los Angeles is only 10 games old, Lecavalier has already made a positive impact.
He scored his first three goals of the season in three-straight games — all on the power play — before netting his fourth in the dying seconds of the Kings’ last game in San Jose to force overtime. Then on Wednesday, despite his team losing to Colorado, Lecavalier made a beautiful feed in front to Trevor Lewis for a goal. So, while he can still hit the twine, Lecavalier is proving that he is just as able to create key scoring chances.
Upon being traded to Los Angeles, Lecavalier had announced that he would retire at season’s end. Suddenly, Kings fans aren’t willing to let that happen just yet, and who can blame them? The former first-overall pick has seemed to find something that was missing in Philadelphia and his last few years in Tampa Bay. In addition, the decision to forego the final two years and $6 million of his contract proves that the 35-year-old is in this to win another championship, proving that the passion is stronger than it’s been in quite some time.
Averaging just 13 minutes a game, Lecavalier is certainly making the most of his time with the Kings. He may not score at a torrid pace anymore but watching him on the ice is nonetheless a throwback to his earlier days when he helped turned a once-dismal Lightning franchise into a Stanley Cup winner.
Before Christmas, the Kings were already looking like a solid rebound group to once again compete for Lord Stanley’s mug. Now, they look even better with Lecavalier’s veteran experience and scoring touch.
As for this writer, while he is admittedly churlish at times, wanted nothing more than Vincent Lecavalier proving him wrong. The veteran is doing exactly that thus far, leaving this writer reveling in his own misjudgment.
Who says being wrong always has to be a bad thing?