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Ranking Tampa's Big Three

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12-08-2010, 08:33 PM
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Stephen
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Ranking Tampa's Big Three

Back in 2004, it looked like the Lightning were well on their way to being a perennial contender, with Lecavalier, Richards and St. Louis leading the way for years to come. St. Louis was the Hart Trophy winner, Richards was the Conn Smythe winner, but you always had the feeling that former first overall Vinny Lecavalier was the most important of the three, even though he lagged behind in production. Many years on, all three guys have had their ups and downs, Richards has been moved out of town. Anyway, looking back, how do you rank the three? Is it safe to say St. Louis and Richards are a cut about Lecavalier, who outside of a year and a half window has always seemed to underachieve?

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12-08-2010, 09:21 PM
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TheDevilMadeMe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen View Post
Back in 2004, it looked like the Lightning were well on their way to being a perennial contender, with Lecavalier, Richards and St. Louis leading the way for years to come. St. Louis was the Hart Trophy winner, Richards was the Conn Smythe winner, but you always had the feeling that former first overall Vinny Lecavalier was the most important of the three, even though he lagged behind in production. Many years on, all three guys have had their ups and downs, Richards has been moved out of town. Anyway, looking back, how do you rank the three? Is it safe to say St. Louis and Richards are a cut about Lecavalier, who outside of a year and a half window has always seemed to underachieve?
I think it's St. Louis who is a cut above the other two in an all-time ranking.

Their top 10 finishes (just because it's easy):

St Louis
Points: 1st, 4th, 5th, 6th
Goals: 4th, 5th
Assists: 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th

Lecavalier
Points: 3rd, 6th
Goals: 1st, 9th
Assists: none

Richards
Points: 7th, 7th, 9th
Goals: none
Assists: 4th, 4th, 5th, 6th

I also think St. Louis brings the best two way game of the three, despite being a winger.

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12-08-2010, 09:22 PM
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RabbinsDuck
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen View Post
Back in 2004, it looked like the Lightning were well on their way to being a perennial contender, with Lecavalier, Richards and St. Louis leading the way for years to come. St. Louis was the Hart Trophy winner, Richards was the Conn Smythe winner, but you always had the feeling that former first overall Vinny Lecavalier was the most important of the three, even though he lagged behind in production. Many years on, all three guys have had their ups and downs, Richards has been moved out of town. Anyway, looking back, how do you rank the three? Is it safe to say St. Louis and Richards are a cut about Lecavalier, who outside of a year and a half window has always seemed to underachieve?
St. Louis

<big gap>

Richards
Lecavalier

I'm not sure how anyone can see it differently. Pretty much exactly the opposite of their initial expectations.

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12-08-2010, 09:29 PM
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Stephen
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Originally Posted by RabbinsDuck View Post
St. Louis

<big gap>

Richards
Lecavalier

I'm not sure how anyone can see it differently. Pretty much exactly the opposite of their initial expectations.
Yeah definitely. St. Louis was always smaller, older and you figured he was probably in for a big come down at some point. Six years later, he's still ticking with a whole new generation. Richards has regained his offensive touch, but he's fallen short of the Sakic type future people were expecting out of him. Lecavalier has just been the most disappointing out of the three. Never put it consistently together long enough to be included with the elite, though for a brief time he was one of the best on the planet.

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12-08-2010, 09:41 PM
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BraveCanadian
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For me it is:

St. Louis
Richards
Lecavalier


St. Louis is easily the best of the three by practically any measure except height. His work ethic, skills and consistency are outstanding.

Lecavalier is too inconsistent.. has had some injuries hampering him and now that contract is a huge boat anchor dragging on the whole organization. i don't feel at this point he'll ever live up to that number again.

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12-10-2010, 07:18 AM
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bassassin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BraveCanadian View Post
For me it is:

St. Louis
Richards
Lecavalier


St. Louis is easily the best of the three by practically any measure except height. His work ethic, skills and consistency are outstanding.

Lecavalier is too inconsistent.. has had some injuries hampering him and now that contract is a huge boat anchor dragging on the whole organization. i don't feel at this point he'll ever live up to that number again.
Agree with most of your post. But that bit isnt right, Lecavalier has been and still is the most talented player on the roster, he is the total package, size, insane skill, scoring touch, physicality, fast for a big guy.

Just the only time he put that all together was that year and a half. For that year and a half he was an absolute machine, his performance in the playoffs in 06-07 was a treat to watch. I dont know what changed to be honest, is it injuries? Not having Torts constantly on him to work? MSL not on his line? Who knows just hope he can get back some of that form.

I mean who do you think taught Stammer where to shoot from on the PP? Vinnys spot used to be the top of the right circle, he had one of the hardest shots in the NHL and was deadly accurate.

Its a shame he is a shell of his former self

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12-10-2010, 08:04 AM
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tony d
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St.Louis
Lecavlier
Richards

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12-10-2010, 04:18 PM
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At that time in 2004 it was..........well, just like it is today.
St. Louis
Richards
Lecavalier

Personally I thought Lecavalier would start lighting the NHL on fire after the lockout. He was the World Cup MVP in 2004, he was 25 in 2005 when hockey returned and without the clutching and grabbing I thought he'd possibly be the best player in the game. I was wrong. He didn't even it a point a game that year. The year he led the league in goals (2007) gave you the impression that he was on his way to a HHOF-type career. He's 30 years old now. He literally played his way off the Olympic team last year. He even stated during the season that he had a sort of "tunnel vision" thing going against him. Uh-oh. He will need a monster 2nd half of his career to even be considered for the HHOF. Yes, underacheiver indeed.

Richards had the promise in 2004 but he peaked at that time. Which is fine, but it won't put him at the top of the big 3 anymore.

St. Louis has literally been like a fine wine. You know the rest. Future HHOFer for sure

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12-11-2010, 02:30 PM
  #9
vadim sharifijanov
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lecavalier kind of had a brian bellows career. will probably retire with similar career numbers too. definitely third then, third now, and likely third when all is said and done.

i don't foresee lecavalier getting back to the elite level. when you watch him, he just looks washed up and mentally beaten up, even though he still has better raw abilities than 95% of the league. with richards, i can see him being great again. for one, what made him so fantastic in '04 wasn't speed and agility, so he will age much better than lecavalier. plus, he sees the ice extremely well and if he can get back to shooting with confidence and playing in the higher traffic areas of the ice, he could crack the top five in scoring in a spike year, and i can certainly see him being the man on a deep playoff team with the right supporting cast. not to say that either of those scenarios are likely, just that you could see them happening and not be completely surprised. if lecavalier gets back to the top, i would be legitimately shocked.

i don't really have to say anything about st. louis. he could retire tomorrow and it would be tough for lecavalier and richards to ever pass him.

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Old
12-12-2010, 03:31 AM
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Originally Posted by vadim sharifijanov View Post
lecavalier kind of had a brian bellows career. will probably retire with similar career numbers too. definitely third then, third now, and likely third when all is said and done.
I don't think any two players in NHL history have had more similar careers than Vincent Lecavalier and Bobby Smith.

Both were hugely-hyped phenoms at age 17-18 (Smith was the biggest thing to enter the league since Gilbert Perreault or maybe even Orr ... was considered the 'next Beliveau' when in the OHL) and #1 overall picks. Both were the same sort of big, elegant, skilled #1 center. Both had 1 massive season where they lived up to their initial billing. Both won a Cup. And both spent the bulk of their careers putting up solid but disappointing numbers that only seemed to scratch the surface of their potential.

By the time Lecavalier's career is over, he'll probably join Smith as the two most disappointing 1000-point players in NHL history.

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12-12-2010, 12:15 PM
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Big Phil
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MS View Post
I don't think any two players in NHL history have had more similar careers than Vincent Lecavalier and Bobby Smith.

Both were hugely-hyped phenoms at age 17-18 (Smith was the biggest thing to enter the league since Gilbert Perreault or maybe even Orr ... was considered the 'next Beliveau' when in the OHL) and #1 overall picks. Both were the same sort of big, elegant, skilled #1 center. Both had 1 massive season where they lived up to their initial billing. Both won a Cup. And both spent the bulk of their careers putting up solid but disappointing numbers that only seemed to scratch the surface of their potential.

By the time Lecavalier's career is over, he'll probably join Smith as the two most disappointing 1000-point players in NHL history.
Good analogy. Yes, Smith might be talked about for the HHOF once every Solar Eclipse. Even then, no one seems to build a case for him, nor should they. I can totally see Lecavalier in that mold.

Remember the Lightning owner Art Williams on the day Lecavalier was drafted? Okay the guy wasn't a red blooded hockey man so it's but it's still kind of funny to look back at his comments:

"In 3, 4, 5 years he'll be the best player in the game." It never happened to this day.

"He'll be a Hall of Famer for sure". Very unlikely at this point in his career

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12-12-2010, 01:07 PM
  #12
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St. Louis definitely has the peak of these 3 guys and some special chemistry with Stamkos that will keep him on top of this list probably forever but the other 2 guys are only 30 years old and will almost most likely have better numbers overall when it's all said and done and by quite a large margin as well.

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