Vincent Lecavalier to Enter Elite Group in Tampa Bay

Matt EichelSenior Writer IJune 25, 2008

"The greater the loyalty of a group toward the group, the greater is the motivation among the members to achieve the goals of the group, and the greater the probability that the group will achieve its goals."—Rensis Likert

In Vincent Lecavalier's case, his heart stays with the group.

Despite falling from grace after an unforgettable march to capture the 2004 Stanley Cup, the Tampa Bay Lightning and Vincent Lecavalier still have a loving relationship.

So loving that Lecavalier may spend his entire NHL career in Florida.

With an impending $77 million, nine-year deal in the works, Lecavalier may be the next to join a group of very special players.

Not special as in having special skills, but special to their team, the fans, and the community around them. In an increasingly larger NHL, trying to stay in one city with one team has become a thing of the past.

Only in the pre-expansion era of the NHL did it seem that one could play their entire careers in one city.

Yet, Lecavalier reached into his heart and found that he was in love with the city of Tampa. The deal also reportedly comes with a "no-movement" clause, making his stay in Florida permanent—for the rest of his career.

Lecavalier stacks up with great players such as Steve Yzerman, Joe Sakic, Mike Modano, Mike Bossy, Jean Beliveau, and Mario Lemieux. All these players loved playing for one team, and one team only. They cemented their lives in that community and could never repay the community for its love and support.

Now that Lecavalier seems to be on his way to finishing his career in Tampa, can he get them back to the top?

Time will tell.