Hockey Hall of Fame - Stanley Cup Journals 2004: 30
The Stanley Cup Journal

Winning the Stanley Cup becomes a family affair, and Tampa's terrific Number 4 shares the spotlight with his Dad, Yvon, and mother, Christianne, back home in Ile Bizard, Quebec.
It was obvious that Vincent Lecavalier was going to be an NHL star from the moment he stepped onto the ice for his first NHL game October 9, 1998 at home against the Florida Panthers. Up until last June, Lecavalier's greatest hockey moment was being drafted by the Lightning. That changed the moment the final buzzer rang on June 7, when his Tampa Bay Lightning were handed the Stanley Cup by Commissioner Bettman. Vincent played an integral role in the playoff run, and was anxious to share his celebration with his hometown of Ile Bizard, Quebec — a borough of Montreal located between the islands of Montréal and Laval and connected to neighbouring Sainte-Geneviève by the Jacques-Bizard bridge.

The prized Stanley Cup arrived in Ile Bizard at 11AM Saturday, August 7, greeted by Vincent, his girlfriend Carolyn, his brother Phil and parents Yvon and Christianne. As Vincent carefully cradled the Cup, spontaneous clapping took place around the neighbourhood, so Tampa's Number 4 took the trophy around to show his family's friends. After a quick circuit, he retired to his folks' backyard for photographs.

Hoisting hockey's Holy Grail, Vincent Lecavalier cruised the harbour of Old Montreal with special friends and family.
Lecavalier ventured with the Stanly Cup into beautiful Old Montreal, the historic area comprised of tiny cobblestone streets filled with caleches carrying tourists through the area behind the clip-clop of beautiful, strong horses. Vincent had booked a cruise for his family and friends on the Cavalier Maxim, which took the party around the harbour. "I got the idea from Mathieu Dandenault," said Lecavalier. "He did the same thing in 2002 after Detroit won the Cup. And on this same boat, too!" Among those on the catered cruise were teammate Nikita Alexeev and former Lightning player, Enrico Ciccone. Ooohing and aaahing at the Montreal skyline, Vince's guests had a beautiful afternoon for a cruise. As they docked, Lecavalier honked the boat's horn twice.

After leaving the floating party, Vincent planned to take the Cup to l'Usine de Spaghetti du Vieux Montreal, but got waylaid. A street performer was juggling outside the restaurant, watched by a gaggle of tourists. Yvon thought he'd have some fun, snatched the Cup from his son and waded into the crowd: "Stanley Cup coming through! Excusez-moi. Le Coupe Stanley! Je m'excuse!" Astonished on-lookers were incredulous — "Is that the real Stanley Cup?" "Qu'est-ce que c'est ca?" As soon as the Lecavaliers left the area for the restaurant, people began running towards them, reminding those around the area of the Beatles scrambling away from fans in the film, 'Help!' The Lecavaliers quickly scooted into the restaurant for a meal of mussels, pizza and lambchops, as well as champagne consumed from the Cup's basin. Vincent then decided to retire to his room at the Loews Hotel Vogue for a few hours of relaxation before kicking the evening's events into high gear.

Before pursuing his hockey dream at Notre Dame in Saskatchewan, Vincent attended high school in Pointe-Claire, Quebec and returned there to show faculty the prized trophy.
At eight o'clock, a limousine pulled up in front of the hotel and Vincent climbed in with the Cup. Provincial laws prohibit more than eight passengers in a limousine, so a second pulled up behind with more guests. The destination? Laval's terrific restaurant Onyx which is paired with an exciting dance club called Tops.

Vincent took the Stanley Cup to a reserved, private area upstairs at Onyx. After dinner, he took the Cup into Tops. Francis Lessard, the big winger with the Atlanta Flames, happened to be in the club and came over to say hi. Vincent's group hung out for the evening. Then, a disturbing occurrence took place near the end of the night. A patron tried to engage Lecavalier in a fight. Vincent said, "I don't need this," and took the Cup out of the club and back to the hotel. The bouncer, who happens to be an Ultimate Fighting champion, took care of the pest. Maybe a little too well. As Vincent was driving away, through the rear window of the limousine he saw the lights of an ambulance careening to the club.

The high-scoring forward took friends by limo to Laval, visiting Onyx for a private dinner, then Tops for some music.
Sunday's events began at ten o'clock with Vincent Lecavalier outlining an itinerary of stops for the day. First up, he took the Stanley Cup to PainStation, the gym in which he works out during the summer. There in Pointe Claire, Tampa's big Number 4 got his photo taken with the Stanley Cup and Tae Kwon Do specialists, Ken Train and David Arsenault. Then, it was over to his old high school. Before he left to go to school at Notre Dame in Wilcox, Saskatchewan (whose alumni association boasts NHL stars Rod Brind'Amour, Wendel Clark, Russ Courtnall, Curtis Joseph and Brad Richards), Lecavalier attended John Rennie High School in Pointe Claire, Quebec. Back in the hallowed halls, Lecavalier chatted with Nancy Hain, the principal, then posed in the lobby with the Stanley Cup.

Following his trip back to school, Vincent was a guest at Pavillon Vincent Lecavalier, named in his honour. "You know what's especially cool," Vincent asked rhetorically. "This park was developed on land owned by my grandfather back in the day." The mayor of Ville de Sainte-Genevieve made a special presentation to the high-scoring Tampa forward, after which, Lecavalier spent better than two hours meeting local hockey fans. Vincent cleverly pre-signed 1,500 posters, and every one found a home with a smiling fan. Vincent also supplied sticks and jerseys for special fund-raising raffles.

Brad Richards flew in from PEI to party with his pal at Sophia, a terrific club in Montreal. The two took turns sipping from Lord Stanley's mug, sharing the experience with astonished patrons.
After a breather back at the hotel, Lecavalier was ready to go again. He attended a special, private party at a nightclub called Sophia on Prince-Arthur, Montreal's only pedestrian street. Enrico Ciccone again joined the fun, while Lightning star Brad Richards flew in from Prince Edward Island specifically for the party. Teammate Andre Roy dropped by later that night, too. The special Cup celebration carried on until 6:30 early (very early!) Monday morning. At that point, it was time to pack it in for the Stanley Cup. Another adventure was waiting around the corner and, at 111 years old, the Stanley Cup just can't party like it used to!

Wednesday, Stanley Cup Journal takes you to St-Jerome for a high-flying romp with Andre Roy. You're not going to believe the surprises that you'll read about. And not just one…TWO! See you then.

Kevin Shea is the Manager of Special Projects and Publishing at the Hockey Hall of Fame.

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