Wednesday, July 14, 2004


It only took one phone call from Wayne Gretzky to set the world right for Vinny Lecavalier! He found himself excited and anxious to get to work, when Gretzky called with the news that Lecavalier had been selected to replace Steve Yzerman on Team Canada for the World Cup of Hockey.

But first there was a bit more phone work to do, in the form of a phone call to Tampa Bay team mate and long time friend Brad Richards to share the good news. Richards who was named to the team earlier in the spring is glad that Lecavalier was finally added to the roster. Richards noted that there was some disappointment at the time, with the Team Canada decision to not select the Tampa Bay star, leaving an awkward feeling to the whole announcement. A situation that at the time Richards and Martin St. Louis tried to downplay so as not to have their team mate dwell on things too much.

For their part Team Canada execs said that once it became clear that Yzerman was not going to be able to participate they only had one name in mind, Lecavalier. His continual progression through the playoffs this year only served to reinforce his name with the Team Canada brain trust and when the time came to find a replacement, Vinny was at the very top of the list.

Lecavalier will join Richards and fellow Bolt Martin St. Louis at the Team Canada training camp in August. With 26 skaters selected but only 20 on the day to day roster, someone will end up sitting out a game or two. If it’s Lecavalier he’s ok with the prospect, though to hear him and Richards talk they’ll be ready to make an impact on the World Cup much like they did in the Stanley Cup. Now that he’s made the roster, it might be near impossible to keep him off the starting line up.

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