Kings give Vincent Lecavalier ‘one last chance to win it all’

The Philadelphia Flyers have sent Vincent Lecavalier and Luke Schenn to the Los Angeles Kings for prospect Jordan Weal and a third-round pick.

At the age of 35, Vincent Lecavalier knows the end is near. The former first overall pick (1998) is looking for a shot at going out a winner, and the Los Angeles Kings are set to give him one.

The Kings acquired Lecavalier and defenceman Luke Schenn in a trade with the Philadelphia Flyers Wednesday, sending prospect Jordan Weal and a third-round pick the other way.

Kings general manager Dean Lombardi held a conference call to talk about the trade, here’s a look at some highlights (transcription via Rich Hammond at the Orange County Register.)

Lecavalier won a Stanley Cup with the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2004. Lombardi spoke about the Kings being in a position to give Lecavalier a chance at winning one more.

“I think Vinny, at this stage of his career, it’s been made clear to us that it’s all about getting one last chance to win it all,” Lombardi said. “I think he’s hungry. Given his mindset and the fit on this team, I think it’s a potentially great fit in his role.”

Lombardi spoke about Lecavalier’s willingness to take a lesser role on a contending team.

“When you look at the history of things like this, with teams that have a chance to maybe to do some damage, whether it’s a Bill Walton — a top player — when he went to the Celtics,” said Lombardi. “A guy here, Bob McAdoo, went to the Lakers. A guy like Darryl Strawberry and (Cecil) Fielder going to the Yankees. These were all top guys who, near the end of their career, wanted a chance to win and were willing to accept a lesser role. So maybe they weren’t the players they were when they were MVPs and everything else, but the willingness to accept a lesser role and fit in as still very productive players.”

Lombardi noted that Lecavalier is expected to retire following the 2015-16 season, which was a major factor in the Kings making the move to acquire him.

“The player [Lecavalier] made it clear to us that was his intention. Going forward, given the players we have to sign, it was imperative. We could give him what he wanted, which was a serious shot at going out as a winner, but we could not make that commitment going forward.

“It kind of fit, with where he was in his career and his life and the way he described it. He wants one last shot at it and he’s going to retire after this year. Otherwise, with the players we have to sign, this would not work. So that was a key element in this, in terms of us making this work.”

Lecavalier has appeared in just seven games this season, recording a single assist. Lecavalier has scored 411 goals and totaled 932 points in 1,170 games over the course of 16-plus seasons in the NHL.

As for Schenn, Lombardi stated that the 26-year-old defenceman could help offset the loss of Matt Greene on the blue-line.

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