Vincent Lecavalier gets an arena re-named in his honor

vinnylbleeding.jpgNirvana once said that they knew they “made it” when one of their songs was parodied by “Weird Al” Yankovic. When it comes to sports athletes, the barometer might be: a) appearing on a show like Saturday Night Live or b) something being named after them.

Tampa Bay Lightning forward Vincent Lecavalier qualified for choice “b” as an arena in his hometown will be renamed to honor the one-time Stanley Cup winner.

Vincent Lecavalier put Île Bizard on the hockey map and now the island is returning the favour.

On Thursday, the arena at Sport Complexe Saint-Raphaël will be renamed after the island’s most famous native son.

There is already a Pavillon Vincent Lecavalier in Île Bizard. The community centre is located next to the soccer and football fields and outdoor hockey rink where Vinny, now 30, played as a youth.

But a hockey arena bearing his name seems more fitting for the NHL star who left home as a teenager in the 1990s to pursue his hockey dream, but still comes home every summer to spend time with family and friends.

I must admit that I often find myself a bit distracted by where Lecavalier falls short; after all, he came into the league being foolishly touted as “Hockey’s Michael Jordan” and is struggling to justify the enormous amount of money he’s being paid.

Yet at 30 years old, he’s within striking distance of a 1,000-point NHL career (he currently has 326 goals and 413 assists for 739 points). He might fall just a bit short of a Hall of Fame career, but he still made good on most of his very high expectations.

In other words, he’s more-than-deserving of having a number of things named in his honor.

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    Coyotes shut down Vitale (concussion) for the season

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    Joe Vitale will not play again this season.

    The Arizona Coyotes have shut Vitale down for the remainder of the 2015-16 campaign due to “concussion-related issues,” according to a report from Sarah McLellan of azcentral sports on Wednesday.

    Vitale, a 30-year-old veteran center, appeared in only one game for the Coyotes this season. That was back on Oct. 17, when he suffered a concussion and broken orbital bone in a fight with Kevan Miller of the Boston Bruins.

    Sens announce Frattin, acquired in Phaneuf deal, will stick with AHL Marlies

    Matt Frattin
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    Matt Frattin was traded by the Leafs to Ottawa yesterday as part of the Dion Phaneuf blockbuster.

    But for now, he’s staying in Toronto.

    On Wednesday, Sens GM Bryan Murray announced that Frattin will remain with the Leafs’ AHL affiliate — the Toronto Marlies — on loan, but will be available for selection should Ottawa require his services down the road.

    Frattin, 28, has spent all of this season with the Marlies, scoring nine goals and 22 points in 47 games. His last NHL appearance came during the ’14-15 campaign, with the Leafs.

    Prior to that, the former North Dakota standout had spent time in Los Angeles and Columbus.

     

    Gaudreau, Monahan, Bouma express remorse after benching

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    One day after getting benched for showing up late for practice — following an “epic” Super Bowl party, per Sportsnet — Calgary forwards Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan and Lance Bouma apologized for their actions.

    “We want to apologize to the organization, the coaches, our team especially, and the city of Calgary and the fans,” Gaudreau said, per the team’s Twitter account. “For us not to show up like that, and miss a game like that, it’s not professional on our part.”

    “I’m a young guy and I’m a leader on this team,” Monahan added. “I’ve got to step up and take that back and earn that respect again.”

    More on what transpired at Tuesday’s practice, from Sportsnet’s Mark Spector:

    Calgary Flames head coach Bob Hartley did his best to keep an epic Super Bowl party under wraps. But two of his players — Lance Bouma and Sean Monahan — arrived at the Saddledome at 10:15 am for a 10:30 Monday morning practice, and those two barely beat Johnny Gaudreau in the Saddledome doors.

    Then practice started, and in the words of Calgary winger David Jones: “It’s a little embarrassing when we’re not (making) five-foot passes.”

    “I think (Hartley) was pretty pissed off.”

    The trio was then subsequently benched for last night’s game against Toronto, which the Flames won 4-3.

    Afterward, Hartley downplayed the incident, saying “it’s not like they robbed a bank,” before adding “they’re great kids.”

    WATCH LIVE: Rangers at Penguins on Rivalry Night

    New York Rangers v Pittsburgh Penguins - Game Three
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    Tonight, the New York Rangers are in Pittsburgh to take on the Penguins at Consol, in a rematch of the ’14 and ’15 playoffs (the Blueshirts eliminated the Pens from each of the last two postseasons, you’ll recall.)

    You can catch the game at 8 p.m. ET on NBCSN, or watch live online with NBC Sports’ Live Extra.

    CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

    Some relevant linkage for tonight’s tilt:

    NHL on NBCSN: Rangers, Penguins renew acquaintances on Rivalry Night

    Rangers ‘are doing a lot of good things’

    ‘I wonder if that’s Crosby, what happens?’ — AV upset after McDonagh concussed by Simmonds

    Malkin (lower body) to miss rest of week

    Crosby, Karlsson and Trocheck are NHL’s three stars of the week