Thursday, June 21, 2018
Tampa Bay Lightning

Tampa Bay Lightning's Vinny Lecavalier has no regrets in going after Pittsburgh Penguins star Evgeni Malkin

TAMPA — Lightning captain Vinny Lecavalier said he does not regret anything he did or tried to do Sunday to Penguins star Evgeni Malkin.

Not jumping Malkin from behind or the sucker punch he threw to Malkin's face at the end of a scrum.

It was justified payback, Lecavalier said, for what he believes was Malkin's attempt in the third period of a 6-3 Pittsburgh victory to go for his knees while ducking a Lecavalier check.

"I thought he went a little low on the hit," Lecavalier said Monday at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. "Sometimes there's confrontations on the ice. It's heat of the moment. It just happens."

It was Lecavalier's first comments about the incident that resulted in him getting 14 minutes in penalties — four for boarding and a 10-minute misconduct — that removed him from the game with 7:49 left and the Penguins up 5-3.

Lecavalier left the arena Sunday without speaking to reporters, creating speculation he ducked them so as not to say anything inflammatory or that could be misinterpreted.

But Lecavalier said the situation was more innocent.

"There's nothing behind that," he said. "The game was over and I was dressed. I just left. I didn't think anything of it. I didn't leave to say I was running away from something. I really didn't."

Still, Lecavalier is the team captain. So it is his job to, you know, deal with the media — a task he never has protested — especially with his team losing seven straight games and him trying to beat up one of the league's stars.

The dustup was big news around the league. There were headlines in newspapers in the Tampa Bay area and Pittsburgh. It was discussed for several minutes between periods of NBC's national telecast of the Rangers-Canadiens game.

Analyst Mike Milbury called Malkin's move "dangerous."

But the view from on and off the ice apparently is different.

"I can see why," Lightning coach Guy Boucher said of the fuss. "It's Malkin and Vinny. But my first initial thought was it went right by me."

"It's a minor incident," general manager Steve Yzerman said. "It's not a big deal. What's (Lecavalier) going to say? You're hoping he says something good. You want to get a good quote. I'd rather he say nothing than give you guys a headline."

Besides, added Yzerman, who for 20 years was captain of the Red Wings, Lecavalier, captain or not, had no obligation to speak to reporters about the incident.

"We play 82 games in the regular season, all through training camp, every day in practice, these guys are available. It's a minor incident. I don't think he needs to comment on it."

Lecavalier did for about five minutes after Monday's practice.

He said it did not immediately flash through his mind that Malkin, playing for Russia, was suspended from a semifinal game at the 2006 Olympics for trying to kick Canada's Lecavalier in the head during the quarterfinals.

Told Malkin said he simply tried to duck out of the way of Lecavalier's check on Sunday, Lecavalier said:

"Yeah, ducking out of the way and you get the guy's knees. I agree to disagree. Nothing happened. I didn't get hurt. My knees are fine. I just thought it was (a low hit) and he doesn't, so we can leave it at that."

NOTES: Wing Dana Tyrell, who sustained a lower body injury against the Penguins, will not play tonight against the Bruins, Boucher said. … Forward Trevor Smith was called up from AHL Norfolk, where he had a team-best 44 points.

Damian Cristodero can be reached at [email protected]

Comments
Lightning’s Victor Hedman wins NHL’s Norris Trophy

Lightning’s Victor Hedman wins NHL’s Norris Trophy

Victor Hedman, a relentless part of the Lightning's push to the Eastern Conference final last season, was honored Wednesday night with the Norris Trophy, given to the NHL's top defenseman."To the Lightning organization, Mr. Jeff Vinik, Steve Yzerman ...
Published: 06/20/18
Lightning announce home opener: Oct. 6 vs. Panthers

Lightning announce home opener: Oct. 6 vs. Panthers

The Tampa Bay Lightning will announce their full 2018-19 schedule on Thursday, but the league announced each home opener Wednesday, with Tampa Bay playing host to the Florida Panthers at Amalie Arena on Saturday, Oct. 6.The Lightning will know their ...
Published: 06/20/18
Norris Trophy could be good consolation for Lightning’s Victor Hedman

Norris Trophy could be good consolation for Lightning’s Victor Hedman

Victor Hedman is talking from a hotel room in Las Vegas and admits he's a little jet-lagged."Actually, very jet-lagged," Hedman says.That's what happens when you take a flight from Sweden to the party capital of the world.But he knows exactly what he...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/20/18
Mike Hoffman traded twice in wake of harassment, cyberbullying claims

Mike Hoffman traded twice in wake of harassment, cyberbullying claims

The Ottawa Senators traded winger Mike Hoffman on Tuesday, hoping to solve an ugly off-ice issue involving star defenseman Erik Karlsson and his wife. The Senators sent Hoffman to the San Jose Sharks, who then dealt him to the Florida Panthers. All t...
Published: 06/19/18
Salary-cap increase makes for ‘more fun’ NHL offseason

Salary-cap increase makes for ‘more fun’ NHL offseason

Thanks, Vegas. That’s what NHL general managers are saying this offseason after the Stanley Cup Final run of the expansion Golden Knights contributed to what’s expected to be a healthy increase for the salary cap. With elite center John Tavares, No. ...
Published: 06/19/18
Barry Trotz resigns as coach of Stanley Cup-winning Capitals

Barry Trotz resigns as coach of Stanley Cup-winning Capitals

Barry Trotz abruptly stepped down as coach of the Washington Capitals on Monday after failing to agree to terms on a new contract, a stunning move that left the newly minted Stanley Cup champions without a coach with the draft later this week and wit...
Published: 06/18/18
Lightning re-signs goaltender Eddie Pasquale to two-way deal

Lightning re-signs goaltender Eddie Pasquale to two-way deal

The Lightning re-signed goaltender Eddie Pasquale to a one-year, two-way contract general manager Steve Yzerman announced today.Pasquale, 27, split this past season between the Syracuse Crunch and Bakersfield Condors of the American Hockey League. He...
Published: 06/18/18
Lightning opens seven-game preseason schedule at home Sept. 18

Lightning opens seven-game preseason schedule at home Sept. 18

TAMPA — The Lightning will open its seven-game preseason schedule at home with a 7:30 p.m.  game Sept. 18 against the Carolina Hurricane, the team announced Thursday.That is one of three home games the Lightning will play in a preseason sc...
Published: 06/14/18
Lightning trades Peter Budaj to Kings, acquires forward Andy Andreoff

Lightning trades Peter Budaj to Kings, acquires forward Andy Andreoff

Sixteen months after acquiring Peter Budaj from the Kings, the Lightning today returned the veteran goaltender to Los Angeles.The Lightning traded Budaj for forward Andy Andreoff, general manager Steve Yzerman announced in a news release.Andreoff, 27...
Published: 06/13/18
Lightning set as early favorite to win the Stanley Cup in 2018-19

Lightning set as early favorite to win the Stanley Cup in 2018-19

This past season didn't end the way Lightning fans might have hoped, but that's no reason to lose hope.In fact, oddsmakers are more bullish on Tampa Bay than any team in the NHL for next season.According to at least one sports betting site, the ...
Published: 06/08/18