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Lecavalier’s ‘difficult contract’ heats up buyout talks in salary cap era

Jun 25, 2013, 9:44 PM EDT

Tampa Bay Lightning v Carolina Hurricanes Getty Images

Vincent Lecavalier is at the center of compliance buyout talks in Tampa Bay.

The Lightning captain is coming off a season in which he had 32 points in 39 regular season games, and has seven years remaining on an $85 million contract, worth an annual cap hit of $7.727 million.

With the salary cap dropping to $64.3 million for next season, each team is allowed two compliance buyouts, as per the new collective bargaining agreement.

“We understand this is a difficult contract in a difficult cap environment,” Lecavalier’s agent Kent Hughes told the Tampa Bay Times of his client’s current deal, “and we recognize (a buyout) is within the club’s right. One way or another there will be clarity in the next seven to nine days.”

Lecavalier, 33, had a career-high 108 points for Tampa Bay back in 2006-07, but has not been able to sustain that production since.

This past year, he scored 10 goals in 39 games.

He is not the only buyout candidate in Tampa Bay. Winger Ryan Malone has also been linked to a potential buyout from the Lightning.

Malone, also 33 years of age, has two years remaining on a seven-year, $31.5 million contract, and is an annual cap hit of $4.5 million.

His time in Tampa Bay has been mired by injury.

Since joining the Lightning for the 2008-09 season, Malone has yet to play all 82 games in a regular season schedule. In 24 games this year, he scored six goals and had just eight points.

 

  1. Woody Bass - Jun 25, 2013 at 9:54 PM

    It was a contract Lecavalier should never have gotten. Do I want to see him go? No. But releasing him may be for the best.

    Malone should not be an option for trade or release. Nonono

    • stakex - Jun 25, 2013 at 11:54 PM

      Well that’s very debatable.

      His contract seemed fine at the time since he had a couple really good years right before it, one was a 108 point (52 goal) seasons which he followed with a 92 points (40 goal) season. It seemed like he had reached a new elite level with his play, and if the Lightning didn’t pay him top dollar (and $7.7 isn’t even top dollar) someone else would have. Since then though, his play has fallen off more in line with his first six years.

      In retrospect, it seem like those two seasons were just a flash in the pan. At the time though? No one was questioning the contract the Lightning gave him.

      • Woody Bass - Jun 25, 2013 at 11:55 PM

        Not exactly true.. There were many who were shocked he got that kinda payday.

      • valoisjoeybfeld69 - Jun 26, 2013 at 5:24 AM

        Yep! And you could say the same for Gomez, Redden, Bryzgalov etc….

  2. leeeroooyjeeenkiiins - Jun 25, 2013 at 10:05 PM

    If neither Jones nor MacKinnon drop to them, they may want to consider trying to trade down a bit and making part of the asking price for the team looking to move up that they take Vinny and buy him out. That way the other team has to eat the penalty and the Lightning could re-sign him since they wouldn’t be the team buying him out(assuming I understand the rule correctly, feel free to let me know if I’m wrong here). If they could do this and get a solid prospect plus take a player like Darnell Nurse with that slightly lower pick, that would definitely be worth looking into.

    • billyhauntswizards - Jun 25, 2013 at 10:30 PM

      can’t trade a player, have that team buy him out, then resign him. That’s defined as “cap recapturing”

  3. gotampabay52 - Jun 25, 2013 at 10:19 PM

    Hate to see Vinny go but its best for us if we get to move up in the draft or get players

  4. jkulha86 - Jun 25, 2013 at 10:26 PM

    Vinny is a good player, but he’s not 7.727 million good. Would be nice if they could just restructure the contract and have him take a pay cut.

  5. narfmoo12 - Jun 25, 2013 at 10:35 PM

    LeCavalier-Giroux-Voracek. Make it happen.

    • illadelphiasphinest - Jun 26, 2013 at 1:13 AM

      NO!!!!!
      Trade Coburn n next years #1 for Bobby Ryan
      No more old expensive guys.
      Ryan, Giroux, and Voracek
      There’s your first line and PP1 line for the next 5yrs.

      • laxman1944 - Jun 26, 2013 at 9:53 AM

        Tempting…..but who is going to eat Coburn’s bg minutes??

      • narfmoo12 - Jun 26, 2013 at 11:26 AM

        1. None of the buyout candidates will be expensive to sign.
        2. 32 points in 38 games shows he’s still quite effective.
        3. It doesn’t cost the Flyers anyone or any picks.
        4. They could do both and have two great wingers.

    • valoisjoeybfeld69 - Jun 26, 2013 at 5:26 AM

      Vinny could be heading to Montreal.

  6. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jun 25, 2013 at 10:42 PM

    Always wanted to see him in a Leafs jersey. If Bozak walks and Tampa eats some salary I think there’s a trade to be made there.

  7. kingsforever - Jun 25, 2013 at 11:29 PM

    Cavy is a winger not a center

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jun 26, 2013 at 12:28 AM

      A winger? Don’t watch much hockey, do you? Oh wait, you’re a Kings fan, of course you don’t.

  8. stakex - Jun 26, 2013 at 12:04 AM

    I think its safe to say if he is bought out, Lecavalier will be the best UFA on the market this year. He might never again play at the level he did between 06-08, but he’s still a top player and would be a solid pickup for anyone looking for some more pop up front.

  9. blackhawks2010 - Jun 26, 2013 at 12:30 AM

    Time for Vinny to go, hasn’t been relevent since 2007…

  10. cameronop - Jun 26, 2013 at 3:14 AM

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  11. Exiled1 - Jun 26, 2013 at 8:12 AM

    cue the Maple Leafs,Rangers,and Flyers rumors.

  12. chanceoffleury1 - Jun 26, 2013 at 9:22 AM

    That’s a really tough one for Tampa. But only because everyone KNOWS what the right answer is, they just don’t want to admit that the same guy that led them to their cup win and was a major piece in putting Tampa on the map is now holding the franchise back. His contract was the EXACT type of contract the owners had in mind when the compliance buyout deal was proposed. Maybe NY will buyout Richards and they can find a way to be reunited and work to get some 2004 magic back in their game. Neither are bad players, but both of them will also never live up to the contracts they have right now. They are just products of bad GMs signing them like they still were/ would be 26 years old forever. We all would have taken the deal, too, had our boss offered it to us. Even if we knew we were being overpaid.

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