SUNRISE — It is common to see Vinny Lecavalier ice his wrists after games. But the Lightning's star center always says he is just keeping up with bumps and bruises.
Perhaps, though, there is more.
Lecavalier's agent Kent Hughes said Friday that his client might need offseason surgery on the more troublesome left wrist that last summer underwent a previously unrevealed arthroscopic procedure to clean up "loose ends."
Even if surgery is not necessary, Hughes said it is likely Lecavalier will not play in next month's World Championships in Canada.
Lecavalier, who Thursday became the first Tampa Bay player to score 40 goals twice, did not fly Friday from Pittsburgh to Fort Lauderdale. Lecavalier had the wrist checked by Philadelphia orthopedist Lee Osterman, who performed the original surgery.
There was no immediate word on what the examination discovered. Hughes said he suspects the diagnosis for the immediate end of the season will be to "rest (the wrist) and see how it reacts."
Lecavalier, who did not return several phone messages, is expected to play tonight against Florida.
He has been hot with eight goals in six games after zero in the previous 12. He needs one point for consecutive 90-point seasons and 600 points in the NHL.
"It seems like last month I didn't think I would score again," Lecavalier said after Thursday's 4-2 loss to the Penguins. "But like I've said a million times, I'm lucky to have the wingers that I do.
"I kept shooting and got out of my little funk, and sometimes you get on a roll like that. It's all about confidence, and right now it's going well, I guess, with that."
More responsibility has fallen to Lecavalier in the faceoff circle as Brad Richards was traded and center Jeff Halpern is dealing with back and abdominal strains.
Lecavalier this season has won 48.4 percent of draws. He won 52 percent (11 of 21) against the Penguins after losing 15 of 25 Wednesday against the Sabres. Fifty percent is considered good.
"There are some guys I have trouble winning against. There are some guys I feel like I'm going to win every draw," he said. "The times that it's difficult, that's the times you have to try to bear down and get that 50 percent."
Healthy wrists probably would help.
Damian Cristodero can be reached at [email protected]