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Q & A: Vincent LecavalierLong thought to be the next great one, 29-year-old Vincent Lecavalier rose to the occasion in 2004 to lead the Tampa Bay Lighting to a hard-fought Stanley Cup victory over the Calgary Flames. True to his roots, the Ile Bizard, Que., native migrates north each summer to spend time with his friends and family. 2 caught up with the champ to find out what drives him both on and off the ice.

Photograph of Vincent Lecavalier action figure.

2: What makes you different than any other guy who played hockey from an early age?
Lecavalier: “I was just on the ice and loved the game. I started at two-and-a-half and I started skating, I was going every single day. I never wanted a day off. I think I had one when I was four years old, and I told my dad I didn’t want to go. He was actually very surprised. It’s just having fun, playing and practice. You just have to practice your skills and try to get better at it, and when you get to a certain level—juniors, that’s when it gets really serious—you still have to have some fun. You have to train in the summers; for myself, I wanted to get a lot bigger—I tried to gain 10 pounds in the summer—because you play with the big guys when you get to the NHL. Guys are like 240 pounds. You’ve just got to work hard.”

2: Do you think that any of your hockey skills are transferable to your own relationship?
Lecavalier: “Relationships are pretty hard, and you’ve just got to work at it. It’s like anything. It’s serious; you’ve got to have fun with it. I’m not married yet—I guess when you’re married, it gets a lot harder—but [my girlfriend and I] have a long-distance relationship. It’s actually a lot of work because sometimes we don’t see each other for a couple of months, but you’ve got to keep communicating. We phone each other every day, so that’s fine. I’ve always had long-distance relationships; even when I was in juniors, I had a girlfriend and it was long distance, so I’m kind of used to it.”