Vinny speaks to reporters in Montreal
Usually on the day of player availability during All-Star weekend, players stand around at their own stations answering questions by wandering reporters. But Friday in Montreal, because so many reporters wanted to speak to Lightning captain Vinny Lecavalier, he was put on a bit of a stage with a microphone.
The topic, of course, was the trade rumors that exploded last week when the Lightning was on the west coast, and the possibility the Canadiens would be an acceptable place for the Montreal native to play.
How interesting, then, to see the different ways his comments were played.
In the Associated Press report, the headline was that Lecavalier said he believed he would finish the season with the Lightning.
"I think I will, but in the end, it's not up to me to answer a question like that because it's a bit out of my control," Lecavalier was quoted in the AP story. "A lot of things have been said over the last few weeks. Montreal is a great city and I'm happy to be here for the All-Star break."
In the Canadian Press account, the quote about Tampa was not used. Instead a reference was made to how Lecavalier said he could thrive in the pressure that would come from playing with the Canadiens.
"For someone being born here, to play here, obviously people add a little bit of pressure," Lecavalier said. "But I think a good pressure. ... To be getting dressed in the Canadiens (locker) room is something I always wanted to see."
Then again, the AP didn't use the quote about the Canadiens dressing room.
Ultimately, nothing really new came from the gathering. Lecavalier reiterated what agent Kent Hughes already has said: that if trade talks ever got serious, the Lightning has assured him he would be notified so he could be part of the process. And there was a great illustration of how much Lecavalier means to the Montreal community, as the superstar center told of being mobbed by fans when he arrived at the Montreal airport.
"When I walked through those doors and saw the hundreds of people there for autographs and waiting for the players arrive - my hair was all over the place, and I really didn't expect to have it," Lecavalier was quoted in the Canadian Press story. "I don't think anybody expected to have a welcome like that."
Asked about the team's turnaround (wins in five of seven and a 9-5-1 streak), Lecavalier said in the AP story, "When you have 17 new players on a team it's hard to get your season off to a good start. Teams that win Stanley Cups have good chemistry. We had two or three weeks to get together and gel. We've been playing better over the last month and a half, particularly in the last week, when we've shown that we can compete."