Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis are basking within the glow of the Tampa Bay Lightning’s 2020 Stanley Cup victory, gratified for the hot and bullish for the ability forward for the organization.
The two friends and old teammates were key cogs within the Lightning’s flee to the 2004 NHL championship, which except this Monday was once one of the best one in franchise historical previous. They played the lion’s a part of their careers in Tampa Bay, Lecavalier skating 14 of his 18 NHL seasons for the Lightning, from 1998-99 to 2012-13, St. Louis playing nearly 13 of his 16 seasons for the group of workers, from 2000-01 deep into 2013-14.
“I’ve sent textual enlighten material messages to a pair players and told them, ‘Abilities this, let it sink in, since you never know ought to you is liable to be going to abilities it over again,'” Lecavalier mentioned on Tuesday, having gorgeous golfed a spherical of 79 despite a cell phone that buzzed appropriate wants from tee to green. “I’ve told them, ‘You mediate now that you simply is liable to be young and likewise that that you simply would be in a position to per chance keep but another three or four, nonetheless issues alternate speedily in hockey. Abilities it while it be here.'”
St. Louis is pondering of many of the same of us. The 45-twelve months-old played with a handful of of us that formed the nucleus of the 2019-20 Lightning, alongside with cornerstones Steven Stamkos, Victor Hedman, Nikita Kucherov and Ondrej Palat, and he cherishes recollections of those off the ice who tended to his health and cared for his instruments.
He spoke, too, of getting long previous to the 2014 Stanley Cup Final with defenseman Ryan McDonagh, when their Recent York Rangers were defeated by the Los Angeles Kings in 5 video games.
“We lost that twelve months, so I am fully jubilant that Ryan will get to keep it now,” St. Louis mentioned. “All of the workers in Tampa when I used to be once there, the trainers, they’re the same guys. The Stanley Cup goes to bring fairly a pair of pleasure to so many folks. Or not it is an trusty-having a stare trophy and it be a laborious one to keep.”
Their careers ended in fairly a pair of places — Lecavalier with the Kings in 2015-16, St. Louis with the Rangers in 2014-15 — nonetheless every are finest identified with the Lightning, revered in Tampa the place St. Louis’ No. 26 was once retired to the rafters of Amalie Enviornment in 2017, a twelve months forward of Lecavalier’s No. 4 joined it.
With Tampa, St. Louis was once a 3-time Girl Byng Trophy recipient, twice won the Art work Ross Trophy and won the Hart Trophy and Ted Lindsay Award once every. For his League-main 52 aims in 2006-07, Lecavalier was once awarded the Maurice Richard Trophy, named for the legend of the Montreal Canadiens, the group of workers he worshipped in his childhood.
They watched this week’s Cup-clinching Game 6 in opposition to the Dallas Stars miles aside in fairly a pair of ideas. Lecavalier loved the first two periods with a neighborhood of friends within the group of workers’s dressing room at Amalie Enviornment, then went dwelling to stare the end alongside with his household. St. Louis missed the first duration, on the ice in Connecticut for a son’s hockey educate, then drove dwelling to accept as true with the final 40 minutes alongside with his boys.
Each and every males maintain indelible recollections of a success the Cup in 2004, of the engagement of a rabid fan atrocious as hockey took root available within the market and grew to turn out to be the freshest tag in metropolis.
“In 2004, followers were drawn in to hockey because we were a success and they also fell in fancy with the sport,” Lecavalier recalled. “Since then, the Lightning were a constructing an trusty fan atrocious. Soccer is massive in Florida nonetheless what Mr. Vinik (owner Jeff Vinik) has performed with the organization, and within the metropolis, has brought hockey to a brand original stage. Minor hockey has gotten better. Or not it is a combination of every thing. Loads has changed, nonetheless the sensation of a success is the same.”
St. Louis says the Lightning were knocking on the championship door for a while. After final twelve months’s pleasing loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets within the Jap Convention First Round, he believes Tampa Bay appeared nearly destined to head all the ability this twelve months, same old supervisor Julien BriseBois having tweaked the roster to position the group of workers over the tip.
“There is been a constructing of a championship group of workers nonetheless I feel they’ve had a championship-caliber group of workers for a long time,” he mentioned. “This twelve months they made some strikes, added the pieces they wished, nonetheless yearly they’ve more or less effect themselves in that situation and it gorgeous did not determine for them.
“To keep, loads has to head trusty. You’d like fairly a pair of bounces, it be crucial to keep healthy, get better timed aims and well timed saves, most certainly an upset in but another spherical to provide you something the place you match up better in opposition to an opponent. I gorgeous felt that no topic who they played within the playoffs this twelve months, they were going to keep. They were dominant from delivery up to total. There weren’t many holes of their game.
“I mediate they realized from final twelve months, a little bit of little bit of adjusting their vogue, playing less hazardous hockey. They’ve developed into a group of workers that can play any vogue. You should delivery it up, they’ll. You should play tight, they’ll. They’ve some physicality in addition, so they’ll not scared some distance from anything else, and they also’ve bought the goalie (Andrei Vasilevskiy). It was once their twelve months. I gorgeous hope subsequent twelve months they’re ready to maintain persisted success. They’ve some guys who’re of their prime and will be of their prime for a long time.”
Sixteen years later, vivid recollections of a success the 2004 Stanley Cup dwell, Tampa Bay having defeated the Calgary Flames in double extra time on the boulevard in Game 6 to stave off elimination, then returning dwelling to keep a 2-1 nail-biter in Game 7. Each and every Lightning legends tag the sentiments that the 2020 Lightning are feeling now and will without destroy.
“I need I’d maintain that feeling over again for the reason that night you keep the Cup is something you are going to never feel over again, unless you keep it over again,” Lecavalier mentioned. “That is a dream come trusty for all these guys now, because it was once for me.
“This twelve months’s group of workers is restful running on adrenaline, that will final for 2 or three days, even longer. They resolve on to mediate that that that you simply would be in a position to per chance per chance be keep this finest once on your lifestyles so that you simply most certainly can maintain bought to keep beefy good thing about it. And it be humorous, after you keep it once, you pronounce, ‘Wow, I wish to keep it over again because it was once so great fun.'”
Give a boost to for the group of workers will waft to original phases, St. Louis mentioned, the group of workers’s 2nd Stanley Cup placed on a stable hockey bedrock in Tampa.
“The Lightning maintain performed so great for me as a player, raising my quantity,” he mentioned. “I need nothing nonetheless one of the best for them. I am gratified that I am a part of the historical previous of this group of workers. That historical previous will withhold constructing and that’s the reason but another immense step for them. You originate not resolve on to be an Usual Six group of workers to develop some tradition. I mediate Tampa is well on their ability.”