Make us your home page

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

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay Lightning's Vinny Lecavalier doesn't get shot at revenge

Vinny Lecavalier wanted to fight Matt Cooke after all.

The Lightning captain had said Cooke's hit, which last season caused a separated right shoulder that required surgery, was pretty much water under the bridge. But we found out exactly what Lecavalier thought of Cooke's methods when he went after him with 3:37 left in the first period of Tuesday's game with the Penguins.

Cooke refused to fight, though, and Lecavalier got a minor penalty for rouging.

Smart move, right? Get the superstar off the ice for two minutes? Perhaps. But the players' code of conduct required Cooke give Lecavalier a chance for payback.

Cooke decked Lecavalier on April 3 as a member of the Capitals. Looking to check Tampa Bay's Michel Ouellet, who was carrying the puck along the left boards, Cooke nailed Lecavalier, who was skating next to his teammate.

Cooke, who has a history of doing "stupid" things on the ice (just ask the Wild's Marian Gaborik) said it was an accident, though he was fined $2,500 by the league.

Lecavalier, who has said he believes Cooke could have avoided the collision, sustained a seriously injured shoulder that eight months after an arthroscopic procedure still is not completely healed.

That brings us back to Tuesday, when Lecavalier dropped his gloves and grabbed Cooke, who skated away.

"It was kind of a screwed up play," Lecavalier said. "As I first approached him, he turned the other way. I had him and had to, like, try to turn him around and tell him, 'Let's go.' I don't know what happened. We kind of tripped each other. I was hoping he would get up quicker. It didn't happen."

Despite rules that eliminated much of hockey's gratuitous violence, there is still an element of outlaw justice in the game. It is a pressure release and helps set boundaries as to what is and what is not acceptable on the ice.

It also ensures there are consequences for one's actions.

One player injures another. Who knows if it was accidental or intentional? Either way, Cooke should have given Lecavalier the chance, and shown him some respect in the process, to defend his honor.

Tampa Bay Lightning's Vinny Lecavalier doesn't get shot at revenge 12/27/08 [Last modified: Monday, December 29, 2008 3:19pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. College World Series: Gators, LSU face off in all-SEC finals


    OMAHA, Neb. — The matchup for the College World Series finals bolsters the case for those who say the best baseball in the land is played in the SEC.

    Florida’s Brady Singer, delivering during a CWS win over Louisville last week, is scheduled to start tonight against LSU.
  2. Jones: Fox Sports Sun shows depth in Rays coverage

    TV and Radio

    tom jones' two cents

    Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones looks back at the best and worst from a weekend of televised sports.

    Best coverage

    Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria (3) makes a run home for a score in the in the final game of a three-game series between the Tampa Bay Rays and AL East rival the Baltimore Orioles at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, June 25, 2017.
  3. Brian Boyle says returning to Lightning a 'huge option'


    As former Lightning forward Brian Boyle approaches free agency this week, he said he's trying to stay busy.

  4. Rays journal: Blake Snell to rejoin rotation, Erasmo Ramirez heads to bullpen

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — LHP Blake Snell is rejoining the Rays' rotation, but the move has as much to do with helping the bullpen as it does with Snell's improvement during his time at Triple-A Durham.

    Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Erasmo Ramirez (30) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Cincinnati Reds Wednesday, June 21, 2017 in St. Petersburg.
  5. Rays' bullpen stars lit up in loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Saturday it was the soft underbelly of the bullpen that let one get away from the Rays, incurring the wrath of the team's faithful followers, who wondered why the high-leverage guys weren't pitching.

    Rays closer Alex Colome, coming in with the score tied in the ninth, allows three runs in his second straight poor outing.