The Tampa Bay Lightning have parted ways with team Captain and Center Vinny Lecavalier, using a compliance buyout on the long time Bolts forward.
Lecavalier was a first overall selection by the Lightning in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft. He is the Tampa Bay’s all-time leader for games played with 1,037 and goals with 383. Earlier this month, the New York Post reported that the Lightning and Toronto Maple Leafs had discussed a trade which would have sent Lecavalier to Toronto; the Maple Leafs would receive an asset in exchange for buying out Lecavalier’s contract and he would then be free to resign with Tampa as an unrestricted free agent at a lower salary cap hit. Though the Maple Leafs denied the report, NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly promptly sent out a memo to all 30 league teams, warning them to avoid transactions deemed a circumvention of the collective bargaining agreement.
Lecavalier becomes an unrestricted free agent on July 5. The 33-year-old had $45-million left on his contract and will be paid two-thirds of that over the next 14 years.
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