Found June 27, 2013 on Fox Sports Florida:
TAMPA, Fla. --Vincent Lecavalier's legacy with the Tampa Bay Lightning is secure, both on and off the ice. There is little debate about the impact he made when he was among peers here, when he became a respected presence within a region that adopted him. There are transition moments for every franchise, when it must part ways with a proud face of its past. Thursday's announcement was such a time for the Lightning. The news from vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman that Tampa Bay would use a compliance buyout on Lecavalier, ending his tenure with the Lightning, was not a complete surprise, but it was jarring all the same.This was a financial decision, plain and simple, one that had been rumored in recent weeks as a possibility. Like all organizations, the Lightning operate within a bottom-line world with bottom-line concerns and bottom-line choices to make.So, the bottom line is this: Tampa Bay clears itself of a 7.727 million cap hit each season by separating from the seven years, 45 million left on the center's 11-year, 85 million deal. This was a decision with building as a goal, with long-term visions in mind. Lecavalier will become an unrestricted free agent July 5, eligible to sign with any NHL team except the Lightning.He and Tampa Bay will move on."For the last several months, I knew a compliance buyout was a possibility for me," Lecavalier said. "In this new CBA and with the salary cap going down in this upcoming season, several teams including the Tampa Bay Lightning, are put in a situation where they have to make tough decisions with some of their players. Although I knew the reality of the situation, it still hit me and my family hard this morning."Obviously, when I signed my long-term deal with the Lightning, it was because I wanted to spend my entire career playing for this club. Tampa is where I started at 18 years of age, the city where I spent the longest amount of time in my life, where I wanted to end my career."Because of business realities, he will not live that wish, but he leaves memories that cannot be captured behind a dollar sign. He is the franchise's all-time leader in games played (1,037), goals (383), power-play goals (112) and game-winning goals (60). The Lightning took him first overall in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft, exactly 15 years ago Thursday. He played the next 14 seasons with Tampa Bay, growing into a figure that will leave a large shadow in two significant ways.As a player: He posted 12 consecutive season with at least 20 goals, he appeared in four All-Star Games, he served as an alternate captain when Tampa Bay won the Stanley Cup in 2004, he won the Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy as the league's leading goal-scorer with 52 in 2006-07.As a man: He established the Vinny Lecavalier Foundation in 2003 to assist kids battling pediatric cancer, he was presented the King Clancy Memorial Trophy and the NHL Foundation Player Award in 2008 for his community contributions, he helped make possible the 2010 opening of the Vincent Lecavalier Pediatric Cancer and Blood Disorder Center at All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg, Fla.He was valued. He was versatile. He was Vinny, Tampa Bay's own, both as an athlete and a humanitarian."It's something that you have to move on," Lecavalier said. "I've had a lot of great times over there. But I definitely have to turn the page somewhat and go try to play for a different team."Legacies are studied in times like these, and Lecavalier leaves a large one. His departure is comparable to the Indianapolis Colts releasing Peyton Manning in 2012. Like Manning, Lecavalier was a top draft pick who grew within one franchise and became a beloved presence in his region and beyond. But like the Colts last year, the Lightning have shown a need to move forward.Yzerman's decision is understandable. When explaining the move, he said in a statement, after praising Lecavalier's contributions, "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."Tampa Bay still has two strong cornerstones in center Steven Stamkos and winger Martin St. Louis. Jon Cooper is a promising coach who will be given time to try to make the Lightning a playoff team for the first time since the 2010-11 campaign, the lone year they have made the postseason since 2007. If Tampa Bay builds more depth (perhaps by adding a forward) and becomes more consistent defensively (especially at goalie) then other pieces are in place to become a factor in the Eastern Conference again.Sometimes, it takes a step from the past to create a full plan for the future. So far, the Colts' choice to introduce the Andrew Luck era has proven to be wise. The additional cap space with Lecavalier's departure will give Tampa Bay a similar chance to secure pieces for tomorrow, to form a post-Vinny identity.That knowledge, however, does not make the past any less valuable. Lecavalier gave Tampa Bay his sweat, his heart, in a place he wanted to remain. In January, as he approached his 1,000th career game, he described his journey this way: "It has been a fun ride. I want to play many more years. It's going to be a special game, but that's it. I've obviously got to move on."Moving on is a reality in professional sports, even for respected figures like Lecavalier. He came. He contributed. He left his mark as a player, as a man.Sometimes, however, the time is right for a new beginning, no matter how odd breaking from the past may seem.You can follow Andrew Astleford on Twitter @aastleford or email him at

Lightning buying out Vincent Lecavalier

After spending 15 years in the Tampa Bay Lightning organization, the former #1 overall pick now finds himself looking for a new place to work.

Vincent Lecavalier conference call statement (AUDIO)

The now former captain of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Vincent Lecavalier, addressed the media about the team’s decision to buyout his contract Thursday. Among many things said, Lecavalier thanked the organization, his teammates, and also the fans. He also mentioned what his potential plans are moving forward. His full statement is embedded below.

Report: Leafs were going to buyout Lecavalier for the Lightning

According to reports, the Toronto Maple Leafs and Tampa Bay Lightning tried to make a loophole trade involving Vincent Lecavalier. The Lightning were going to trade Lecavalier and possibily a prospect or draft pick to the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Leafs, one of the richer teams in the NHL, would then use their compliance buyout on Lecavalier who still has seven years and $45 million...

Lecavalier good fit for Wings

With the chances of re-signing Val Filppula diminishing with every passing minute, the Detroit Red Wings main priority this offseason will be finding a second-line center. Thats not exactly earth-shattering news. But the possibility of that second-line center being Vincent Lecavalier, who will be bought out by the Tampa Bay Lightning, is certainly an attention-grabbing headline...

Lightning to buy out Lecavalier's contract

The Tampa Bay Lightning are buying out the contract of center Vincent Lecavalier, a move that will create salary cap space and make one of the stars of the franchise's only Stanley Cup champion a free agent next month. Lecavalier was the first overall pick in the 1998 NHL draft and helped Tampa Bay win the NHL title in 2004. He is Tampa Bay's career leader in goals and games...

Red Wings mid-day news: on Lecavalier, prospect and draft talk and a Calder Cup appearance

The news that the Tampa Bay Lightning are buying out Vincent Lecavalier sent shockwaves through the hockey world earlier this morning, and as Paul noted, MLive's Ansar Khan believes that the Wings should pursue him. The Free Press's Helene St. James agrees with Khan's assessment: Lecavalier has a lot of assets. He's 6-feet-4 and 215 pounds. That alone would make...

Will Wings Have Interest In Lecavalier?

Ansar Khan of Mlive is correct when he states the Wings may need a 2nd line center... The NHL's shallow free-agent pool just got a little deeper, as the Tampa Bay Lightning announced today that they will use a compliance buyout on center Vincent Lecavalier. Lecavalier will become an unrestricted free agent on July 5, eligible to sign with any team except the Lightning...

Lightning Sever Ties With Captain Vincent Lecavalier by   Steven Ellis

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 [...]

Vincent Lecavalier Receiving Lots Of League Interest by   Steven Ellis

Just days after getting bought out, ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun reports that former Tampa Bay Lightning first overall pick Vincent Lecavalier is receiving interest from multiple teams in the NHL. “We have been reached out to by a number of teams, easily a dozen or more,” Kent Hughes, Lecavalier’s agent, told Friday afternoon. “This is the beginning of the process [...]

Vincent Lecavalier bought out by Tampa Bay Lightning

 I will let this tweet speak for itself.       #tblightning have bought out the contract of captain Vinny Lecavalier  — Erik Erlendsson (@erlendssonTBO) June 27, 2013       In a truly shocking move, the Tampa Bay Lightning have elected to buy out their captain, Vincent Lecavalier, choosing to pay him 30 million dollars over the next 14 years to become a UFA rather...

Lightning Will Buyout Lecavalier

TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning will use a compliance buy-out, as allowed by the NHL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement, on center Vincent Lecavalier, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced today. Lecavalier becomes an unrestricted free agent on July 5, eligible to sign with any team in the NHL, except Tampa Bay. The Lightning will pay Lecavalier two-thirds...

Michael Stuart: Tampa Bay Lightning Buyout Vincent Lecavalier

Steve Yzerman sent a big wave through Bolts Nation earlier this morning as he announced that the Tampa Bay Lightning will use a compliance buy-out on team captain Vincent Lecavalier and his eleven year, $85MM contract. Lecavalier, who has been with the Lightning since being drafted first overall in 1998, will become an unrestricted free agent. ...continuing

Tampa Bay Lightning: Lecavalier Era Comes to a Close

By: Brent Manara (@THG_Brent) The Tampa Bay Lightning announced today that they have used a compliance buy-out on star center Vincent Lecavalier. There was a lot of speculation over the past few months that this move was being considered because of his massive salary cap number and advancing age, but it is still a jolting turn of events considering how much Lecavalier has meant to...

Eric Engels: Lecavalier, Briere, Jagr and the Habs...

Fire up the DeLorian... Three names on the market: Vincent Lecavalier, Daniel Briere, Jaromir Jagr. Let's talk about them... We all knew that for Steve Yzerman to build a competitive roster, buying out Lecavalier was a must. That said, it was a near-impossible reality to fathom. Would Jeff Vinik and Yzerman be willing to rid themselves of the face of their franchise...

Report- CBA Loophole Closed

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post, The NHL on Monday moved to close a loophole left in the allegedly airtight collective bargaining agreement by notifying general managers the league would deem re-signing a player following a trade and a subsequent amnesty buyout as circumvention, and thus would not register the contract, The Post has learned. It is believed the Lightning...
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