With the NHL All Star game in Montreal this weekend, it was inevitable that the media would be all over Vincent Lecavalier the moment his feet touched ground in the city. That scenario was exactly was happened, and Le Journal de Montreal were on top of it immediately, being at Dorval airport when his plane landed.
Le Journal's Martin Leclerc caught up with Lecavalier then, and the invariable Montreal questions arose once more, this time dealing specifically with the pressure of playing in the city. A cautious Lecavalier did not flinch when asked about it.
"It would not bother me to live in this environment. Pressure happens no matter where one plays. Montreal is a hockey city and the presure involved in playing here can be a source of motivation. There's a positive side to that. The fans are so into the games. It motivates me, and it's a good pressure."
Journal collegue Marc De Foy met Lecavalier at the airport on Thursday, and Lecavalier related that he was anxious to step inside the Canadiens dressing room.
"It's a place that I've always wanted to see. That will be something very special."
De Foy noted to him that it would be the first time he plays on the home team in the building, as he represents the Eastern Conference.
"I've always been treated well whenever I've played here. Last time I was here, I was booed after I had hooked Tomas Plekanec. This weekend, it will be special to wear the colours of the team fans will be cheering for."
Leclerc went over recent events with the Tampa center, regarding the multitude of rumours and the amount of coverage it involved. Once he had heard his name being mentioned, Lecavalier said "that it was hard to not want to know exactly what was going on."
"There were moments where it was a bit difficult, but I met with the direction of the team and they told me that they would prepare if such a thing were about to happen and present me with a list of teams should it go that far. I believe that if I were to be traded, it wouldn't happen until the off season, but in the world of professional sports, you can never predict the future."
Stéphane Alarie of Le Journal de Montreal had this to say on the reception given to Vincent Lecavalier:
If Lecavalier ever had doubts about the kind of reception he would receive should he ever become a Montreal Canadiens player, the thousands of fans at the Bell Centre on Saturday tasked themselves with reassuring him: the Ile - Bizard native was warmed with a hearty ovation the second his skates hit the ice. The Lightning star was showered with as much applause, if not more than the Canadiens representatives themselves. At one moment, the 28 year old center looked more uncomfortable than he appeared relieved in light of this love manifestation from a Montreal public whose dreams of him in a Habs sweater were relaunched with recent trade rumours.
Looking a bit frozen in his step, Lecavalier didn't dare smile even, knowing full well that it would only have encouraged fans to acclaim him even more while the house announcer proceeded with the presentation of players. Later Lecavalier said, "I didn't know how to react. I was surprised. It was the first time I experienced that. What I've been living throught for three days here has been incredible and very enjoyable."
The above quote and articles were translated from Sunday's Le Journal de Montreal. Read more on what De Foy had to say on Lecavalier here.