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Written by Dani Toth | 13 December 2009

Some days I think that hockey players are my favorite type of athlete and not just because I like the sport they play. When they make a $3 million charitable donation to a hospital, like what Vincent Lecavalier did back in October 2007 did, well it just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Back in December 2005 the Vincent Lecavalier Foundation was started after Lecavalier return back to Florida after the lockout. In October 2007, Lecavalier and his corporate partners, announced that the foundation would be making a 3 million dollar donation toward the construction of a wing at the All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg, FL. The money would be for a 26,500-square-foot, 28-room wing that would be named the Vincent Lecavalier Pediatric Cancer and Blood Disorders Center.

Lecavalier, Kane's Furniture and DEX Imaging would provide half of the $3 million, and the other half would be raised through fundraising events, like Lecavalier's annual poker tournament. This past summer, he held a celebrity poker tournament in Montreal, where he received $100, 000 for the foundation.

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Photo from Loto Quebec.

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This past week, on Tuesday night, it was the ribbon cutting ceremony for the Vincent Lecavalier Pediatric Cancer and Blood Disorders Center. Lecavalier was joined by his father, Yvon, mother Christianne, sister Genevieve, niece Madison and girlfriend Caroline as well as some Lightning minority owners. The hospital officially opens on January 9, 2010.

One of the Foundation's primary goals "to create a legacy project in the Tampa Bay community". Now I don't want to turn this post into trade talk, but Lecavalier's involvement in the Tampa Bay community shows how much he loves where he plays. I love when any athelete or person who is the position to give back to the community, actually does.

As an aside, has anyone else noticed that the V4 website has been saying "coming soon" since the summer? This is supposed to be the website that has information about the Vincent Lecavalier Foundation. Seriously, its tag line is "new season, new site", what are they waiting for, the next season?

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Written by Dani Toth | 13 December 2009

Whenever people think Chicago food, they think deep dish pizza. Sure they also have their Chicago style hot dog, which is nice as a change to the regular or NY style, but since I may think ketchup is its own food group, I can't say I prefer the Chicago style char dog. Quite seriously, it doesn't have ketchup on it, instead it has fresh tomatoes and cucumber and some relish that looks possibly radioactive. But what Chicago SHOULD be known for, in addition to the pizza, is their Italian beef sandwiches which is a messy sammie of beefie goodness.

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Enemy blog: Check out Second City Hockey

The Lightning picked up a point last game, but now head in to Chicago to play a team, that quite seriously may rip them to shreds. Optimism for a win tonight? Can't say it's running that high right now.

In Chi-town the fans begin to worry about the lack of scoring from the Hawks. Sure they have been winning, and firing tons of shots (81 in the last 2 games), but the fans are looking for those shots to equal goals. And this is a team that should score multiple goals. They have Hossa, Kane, Toews, Versteeg, Keith, Seabrook, Campbell....the list is so long, but none of them have hit the double digits in goals yet (though more than 1 are sitting at 9 goals right now).

So the Lightning need to put up a huge effort tonight. I am glad that Niitymaki will be getting another start tonight, since I have confidence that he'll give the Lightning a chance for a win, instead of Mike Smith who's been so much of a gamble lately. Tonight will be Matt Walker's first return back to play against his old team. Let's hope that Chelsea Dagger by the Fratellis is kept to a minimum tonight.

Line-up Notes:

  • Niitymaki is in net
Game time: 7:00pm ET on SUN no comments

Written by Dani Toth | 12 December 2009

Lightning 1, Avalanche 2

There is no recap of last nights game, because frankly I did not watch it and maybe it was better that I didn't. You can head over my friends over at Raw Charge for Cassie's view/recap of the game. From what I gather, Niitymaki looked good but the skaters for the Lightning did not. Niitymaki had 18 saves in the third period alone. Anderson only faced 4 shots in the third period and only 1 in OT, which really says that the Lightning took themselves out of the third. Cassie points out that the skaters all looked tired, which since it was a Denver game was most likely due to the altitude and players not taking short enough shifts. I'm a little surprised that both Malone and Stamkos played last night, as maybe one or both could have used the game off for some recovery time.

The Lightning reassigned C Blair Jones back to Norfolk since it looks like Malone and Stamkos won't need any time off.

Lukas Krajicek cleared waivers

This was not surprising as he's a terrible defenseman and he makes 1.475 million. Maybe some team will want him at half price when he goes through re-entry waivers. I'm a little biased because I already thought he was worthless in Vancouver, and thought the exchange for Shane O'Brien (who is also now worthless because he wants to play with finesse and doesn't play the type a hard hitting scary defenseman game, though still has potential to embrace what he's being paid to do). Krajicek is also getting too much money for a team that only wants to spend the salary cap floor.

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Written by Dani Toth | 11 December 2009

I've been working on a piece about attendance or the lack thereof of attendance in Tampa, and this piece that Cristodero wrote, which is about the turnstile count of attendance as compared to the NHL announced attendance. Mirtle then followed up with "How to kill a franchise in 535 days", and the name really does sum up what is happening to the team since the last ownership change. Both are great reads, albeit a little scary on outlook for the Lightning fan.

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Written by Dani Toth | 11 December 2009

On Wednesday, the Avalanche played some of the most boring hockey you could ever watch, if you like trap hockey, well that was your game. The Lightning leave their sunny patch in Florida for the snow of Denver for the beginning of a long and important road trip.

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Enemy blog: Check out Jibblescribbits or Anyone but Detroit for your mile high views.

The Lightning have lost the last 5 regulation losses in 6 games. Ryan Malone and Steven Stamkos were both injured last game, and Lightning fans held their breath thinking that those two injuries threaten to kill any hope of a winning season.

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Written by Dani Toth | 10 December 2009

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The Lightning lost the game to the Oilers 3-2, but more importantly they lost both Stamkos and Malone to injury.

The 1st and 3rd period actually had good effort from the team, the 2nd not so much.

  • St. Louis opened up the scoring quick in the 1st period from a pass Lecavalier
  • Both St. Louis and Lecavalier played well last night
  • Ryan Malone left the game in the first period with a lower body injury
  • Victor Hedman got his 2nd NHL goal with a slap shot
  • Stamkos left during the 2nd period with an upper body injury
  • Stortini got a Gordie Howe hat-trick
I watched this game off of the Oilers webcast on their website.
-The quality of the picture was alright (for online quality, but it was no game center), and the chat on the right side had plenty of homer Edmonton fans dissing the attendance numbers in Tampa.
-The broadcast also had plenty of Kevin Lowe interviews, more than anyone could ever want.
-I liked the idea of the webcast as it works for fans like me who don't live in the city of a team they cheer for without having to buy Game Center.
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Written by Dani Toth | 09 December 2009

The Lightning are finishing up their home stand playing the Oilers tonight before heading out onto the road for 6 games over, count 'em, 13 days on the road.


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Enemy blog: Check out Low on Oil for their game thoughts

Tonight's game will be shown as a live webcast on Edmonton's website, this is the first time a regular season game has been shown by the NHL like this, click here for it.

The Lightning need to put up a better performance than their last game against the Caps on Monday night. Their PP was terrible. Tocchet will yet again shuffle the lines again, putting Vinny back up to the top line with Malone and St. Louis. Todd Fedoruk after being a healthy scratch for 9 straight games will be back in the line up, and defenseman Kurtis Foster is back from LW back to being on defense.

Half of Edmonton's team is out with injury right now. Comrie, Khabibulin, Hemsky, Chorney, Pisani and Grebeshkov, so the team that we will see tonight is a very depleted team.

Line-up Notes:

  • Mike Smith in goal
  • Todd Fedoruk is back in the line-up. He's a LW if you have forgotten
Game time: 7:30pm ET on SUN or online on the Oilers' website here.
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