Originally written on The Bay Cave  |  Last updated 11/16/14
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Vincent Lecavalier is second in team history with 874 points and 491 assists. He’s first all-time with 383 goals. He is also the franchise leader in games played with 1,037 games. But the long time Lightning captain and fan favorite may not get the opportunity to increase those numbers if the team buys out his contract. The NHL buyout period begins Wednesday night and it is an option given to teams who want to raise their salary cap space without any major salary cap consequences like they would incur if they just simply released a player. Lecavalier’s contract calls for a $7+ million cap hit through 2020 and has $45 million salary remaining. To buy his contract out, the Lightning will have to pay $30 million if that decision was made Thursday, which is then spread out through 14 years. Thanks to the folks at CapGeek.com, they have created a calculator to calculate a player’s buyout and we can see below how much it will cost the Lightning to buy out Lecavalier’s contract. The negative amount indicates a credit to the team’s cap numbers. Vincent Lecavalier buyout from CapGeek.com 2013-14: -$129,870 2014-15: -$129,870 2015-16: -$129,870 2016-17: $1,370,130 2017-18: $5,870,130 2018-19: $8,370,130 2019-20: $8,870,130 2020-21: $2,142,857 2021-22: $2,142,857 2022-23: $2,142,857 2023-24: $2,142,857 2024-25: $2,142,857 2025-26: $2,142,857 2026-27: $2,142,857 As you can see, the team will average just over $2 million per season for the next 14 years if they in fact buy out his contract. A lot less than having to pay over $7 million per season for the next seven seasons. But do the Lightning make that move? At 33 years old, Vinny Lecavalier is still an asset to the team so it’ll be a tough decision. If they do, he becomes an unrestricted free agent and he — nor any other player who gets bought out — can re-sign with his former team for one year. And you better believe teams will be after his services if he does hit the open market.

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