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Tampa Bay Lightning's Vinny Lecavalier shrugs off trade speculation

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Funny guy, that Vinny Lecavalier.

The Lightning captain knows All-Star weekend Jan. 23-25 in his hometown of Montreal will be nonstop questions about the rumors he could be traded.

"It's going to be one or two minutes talking about it and then enjoy the experience," he said.

One or two minutes?

"Well," Lecavalier said, "maybe five or six."

It was vintage Lecavalier, low key and measured, calm yet confident. The firestorm of speculation about his future seems to roll off his back.

"These questions and rumors, I've been getting them my whole career," Lecavalier, 28, said Tuesday. "I've been getting a lot of phone calls from friends back home, people wondering what's going on. I tell them they're rumors."

He shrugged.

"That's about it."

Lecavalier's agent, Kent Hughes, isn't surprised his client is so at ease under pressure.

"This is a guy who at 16 years of age came close to breaking the Quebec League record for scoring," Hughes said. "Quebec is very territorial about its players who become superstars. He's 12 years into it being a daily thing."

"I guess," Lecavalier said, "it's part of being a hockey player."

STAMKOS GETS NOTICED: Steven Stamkos got fairly good reviews after Monday's 3-1 win over the Kings. The rookie played just 10:38, but had the primary assist on Evgeny Artyukhin's goal in his return from the first benching of his career, Friday against the Ducks.

"He took a hit on that goal to get an assist," coach Rick Tocchet said. "He's a work in progress. He's got to get a little more aggressive; not so much jam, he just has to get a little bit more bite to his game."

BOYLE IN TOP FIVE: Sharks coach Todd McLellan said Dan Boyle, who entered Tuesday tops among defenseman with 34 points and tied for second with 12 goals, is one of the top five blue-liners in the game.

"There's nothing in his game that surprises us," McLellan said of Tampa Bay's former property. "The offense was always there, the vision, the competitiveness. I wasn't sure what we were getting as far as a defensive player goes. But his expectations there exceeded what we probably thought we'd get."

KOLZIG IMPROVING: Backup G Olie Kolzig, out 13 games with an injured left arm, practiced with coaches and said he is a team practice away from returning to the lineup.

ODDS AND ENDS: F Ryan Craig was scratched. … Tampa Bay plays 12 of its next 15 at home.

Tampa Bay Lightning's Vinny Lecavalier shrugs off trade speculation 01/13/09 [Last modified: Thursday, January 15, 2009 4:13pm]
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