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June 27, 2013 | 8:52am ET
Lightning to buy out Lecavalier
TheFourthPeriod.com

According to two separate sources, TFP has learned that the Tampa Bay Lightning plan on buying out the contract of captain Vincent Lecavalier.

Lecavalier, 33, was aware of the possibility, of had not been notified, one way or another, by the team as of Tuesday night.

"It's obviously something you think about," Lecavalier told Tampa Times last week. "At the same time, there's nothing I can do about it."

Signed through 2020, Lecavalier has seven seasons left under his contract, which has an annual salary cap hit of $7.727 million.

Lecavalier will be owed an $8 million bonus paid in full over the next three years and then $24.67 million in salary spread over 14 years.

"Vinny has been a significant reason for many of our past successes, including the 2004 Stanley Cup, and his contributions to the community are immeasurable," said Lightning GM Steve Yzerman. "The Lightning organization is indebted to Vinny; we thank him for all he has done here and we wish him well as he moves forward.

"After much internal deliberation, we believe this will prove to be a pivotal move for us as we strive to achieve our long term goal of competing at the highest level, year-in, year-out. The economics and structure of the CBA are necessitating this decision and we at the Lightning are excited at the newly created opportunities this presents to us."

In 39 games with the Lightning this past season, Lecavalier registered 10 goals and 22 assists for 32 points.

The former first-overall selection in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft, Lecavalier has played in 1,037 career NHL regular-season games, all with the Lightning, and has accumulated 383 goals and 491 assists for 874 points. He helped lead the Lightning to their first Stanley Cup championship in 2003-04.


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