Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Captain Vinny Lecavalier set to return to Tampa Bay Lightning lineup on Thursday

The Tampa Bay Lightning will get a significant piece of its roster back on Thursday when captain Vinny Lecavalier is expected to play against the Devils in Newark, N.J. Lecavalier has missed 18 games with a fractured right hand sustained Feb. 18 against the Capitals when he was hit by a puck.

"Happy to get back in the lineup," he tweeted.

Center Nate Thompson also might return after six games sidelined by an upper-body injury. In anticipation, right wing Pierre-Cedric Labrie was reassigned to AHL Norfolk.

Lecavalier's absence left a huge hole in the lineup. He has 21 goals, 46 points in 58 games and averages 19:04 of ice time. He also is second on the team with five winning goals. Still, with only six games left in the season, the question is: is it worth it to bring him back?

Both Lecavalier and coach Guy Boucher told the Tampa Bay Times earlier this week that was not an option.

"The guys have been working so hard, as soon as I'm ready I want to play," Lecavalier said, "even if there's seven, five, three games."

Added Boucher: "Our mentality is every game we want to put our best team on the ice."

Besides, Boucher added, it is not as if Lecavalier can hurt himself further by playing. "A bone is either broken or it isn't," he said.

Still, Lecavalier admitted the bone, next to the one on which he had surgery last season, took longer to heal than expected. And being out of the lineup for so long, his minutes likely will be closely monitored.

Captain Vinny Lecavalier set to return to Tampa Bay Lightning lineup on Thursday 03/28/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 28, 2012 4:54pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. What Wilson Ramos will mean to the Rays lineup, pitching

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Chris Archer was stumping for all-star votes for Corey Dickerson during a live interview Wednesday morning on the MLB Network when he lifted the right earpiece on his headset and said, "I hear a buffalo coming."

    Tampa Bay Rays catcher Wilson Ramos (40) waves to the crowd after being presented with the Silver Slugger Award before the start of the game between the New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Tuesday, April 4, 2017.
  2. Jameis Winston as 2017 NFL MVP? 66-to-1 odds from Vegas

    Blogs

    Could Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston be an NFL MVP in 2017? It's certainly unlikely, but the sports book at Bovada has opening lines with Winston getting 66-to-1 odds, worse than 22 other players across the league.

    Bucs fans would be very happy if quarterback Jameis WInston can put himself into consideration for the NFL MVP award during the 2017 season.
  3. Deon Cain, Duke Dawson, Derrick Nnadi among SI's top 100 players

    Blogs

    Sports Illustrated's countdown of the top 100 players in college football continues with three more local players.

  4. The greatest coaches never to win it all

    College

    As foregone conclusions go, some things are approaching the death-and-taxes stratosphere: summer humidity in Florida, a Kardashian seeking attention, and Mike Martin coming up short in Omaha.

    Florida State coach Mike Martin walks to the mound to talk to pitcher Cole Sands during the second inning of the team's NCAA College World Series baseball game against LSU Wednesday in Omaha, Neb. [AP photo]
  5. Bucs fans ranked 25th in study of NFL teams

    Blogs

    The Bucs and their fans are ranked 25th in an Emory University study of NFL teams' "fan base and branding analysis."

    Bucs fans were on their feet for this fourth-quarter play at home against the Carolina Panthers at Raymond James Stadium in 2015.