BRANDON — One of the NHL's most dynamic pairings this decade could come together again, as Lightning coach Guy Boucher said he plans to reunite C Vinny Lecavalier on a line with RW Marty St. Louis.
The pairing likely won't be in stone — "I always look for different options," Boucher said — but the players will get a chance to rekindle the chemistry that made them the talk of the league from 2006-08. "To me, that tandem, Lecavalier and St. Louis, is extremely, extremely strong in possibilities on ice and off," Boucher said. "They might not start together, but they will play together at some point, whether it's power play or five-on-five."
Lecavalier and St. Louis were especially potent in 2006-07, when Lecavalier had 52 goals, 108 points and St. Louis had 43 and 102. St. Louis was moved to C Steven Stamkos' line midway through 2008-09. Since then, Lecavalier generally has played with linemates who, along with him, have underperformed.
No surprise, then, that Lecavalier on Wednesday at the Ice Sports Forum called the promise of a reunion exciting. "I know we can play well together," Lecavalier said. "If I get a chance to play with Marty, we'll have great chemistry."
"I played a long time with Vinny, and it's always exciting," St. Louis said. "Trying to get back that offensive killer instinct we had for a couple of years … I know it's there. If we play together, we just got to find it."
OUT OF RUSSIA: Johan Harju scored goals consistently in the Swedish elite league, getting 20 and 27 in 2007-08 and 2008-09, respectively. But Harju, 24, who will be fighting at training camp for one of two bottom-six wing positions that appear up for grabs, scored just four goals in 55 games last season for Moscow Dynamo of Russia's KHL.
"I played pretty good hockey on a good line, but I played a little bit more of a defensive role," Harju said. "I was not used to it."
At the world championship, Jarju had two goals in nine games for Sweden. "I want to play offensive hockey," he said. "I can play defensive if I get that role; it's not a problem. But I love to score."
CAMP FACTS: There will be 54 players in camp, 32 forwards, 17 defensemen and five goaltenders. Go to tampabay.com/blogs/lightning to see the roster.
Camp opens Friday at the St. Pete Times Forum with off-ice testing. The team will practice and scrimmage from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and practice at 10 a.m. Monday at the Ice Sports Forum. There also will be an 11 a.m. practice Tuesday at the Ice Sports Forum for players not participating in the preseason opener at Dallas. All practices in Brandon are free and open to the public.
prospects tournament: The Lightning lost 4-3 to the Hurricanes in two overtimes to finish fourth in the eight-team event at Traverse City, Mich. The Lightning got two goals from Matt Butcher and one from James Wright, who had three goals, three assists in the tournament. Wright's six points led Tampa Bay and tied for third in the tournament. … Undrafted D Charles Landry, who played three games for Tampa Bay as an invitee, was signed to a three-year entry-level contract. He will be assigned to Montreal of the Quebec junior league.