Vincent Lecavalier, For the Hundredth Time, Says He Will Retire

Please stop asking what will happen if he doesn't retire.

The Los Angeles Kings' season-ending player meetings took place over the weekend, and it provided an opportunity for reporters to ask Vincent Lecavalier questions that he's already answered, a bunch of times, for everyone. Lecavalier's trade was contingent on the fact that he would end his 17-year career immediately after the 2015-16 season ended, and once he started scoring goals and playing regularly for LA, everyone wanted to know whether he was stil ready to hang 'em up. Yesterday, he answered the big question one more time. Via LA Kings Insider:

"Yeah, [retiring is] definitely still the plan," he said, "I haven’t really thought about it the last couple days. People are texting me, and I’m not even talking about it, but, yeah, it’s the same plan as when I first got here three months ago."

Is that enough? I mean, the guy is talking about moving to Tampa. Seems pretty cut-and-dry.

Maybe that assurance will finally be enough to quiet the questions that have been asked to Lecavalier since... oh... the day after the January 6 trade that sent him to Los Angeles from the Philadelphia Flyers. Here's his answers over the last three months:

January 7 (NBC):

"It's something I was planning on doing and something I'm going to do," Lecavalier said about retirement. "I'm happy to be a part of a team where I get a chance to play and where I can play a certain role. To have a chance to win another Stanley Cup would be great."

January 13 (LA Kings Insider)

Lecavalier, on whether he’s reconsidering his decision to retire after the season:

I mean, I don’t really want to talk about it everyday, but yeah, I’m planning on doing that this summer, so yeah, I’m kind of going in the present right now. I don’t want to think about it in five months

January 26 (Sportsnet):

Yet he only smiles when he's told that fans are hoping he'll change his mind about retirement. "Well, I mean, I've already taken my decision, so ...,'' Lecavalier said, trailing off. "But I don't want to think about in five months."

February 10 (Tampa Bay Times):

As part of the deal, Lecavalier said he'd retire at the end of this season, forgoing the final two years on his contract.

"It wasn't hard at all to decide," Lecavalier said. "Not at all. It's something I've been thinking about, even before that, it's not something that was because of the trade. But when it was obviously part of it, I didn't hesitate. I would have been in Philly and not played the rest of the year. For me to get an opportunity like this, it was a no-brainer."

March 26 (Sportsnet):

This will be Lecavalier's final season. One of the trade conditions was that he would agree to retire after the season.

"They wanted to know if that was a possibility, and obviously, I said yes. I wanted to finish my career playing, not sitting in the stands."

So, what's the fuss? There were lots of breathless stories yesterday about how Lecavalier still planned to retire, ending his 17-year career, but he never said anything else. As much as people (OK, us included) questioned his ability to be a valuable contributor at this point in his career, no one questioned his honesty. So can we finally stop talking about how screwed the Kings would be if he didn't retire?

So it's not official? Oh, for the love of-

Lecavalier Shrug

We'll be back with another article, saying mostly the same thing, when those pesky retirement papers get filed.