April 4, 2013; Raleigh, NC, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning center Vincent Lecavalier (4) looks on from the bench against the Carolina Hurricanes at the PNC center. The Lightning defeat the Hurricanes 5-0. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Tampa Bay Lightning Makes Tough Decision, Buys Out the Contract of Captain Vincent Lecavalier

The old saying is that all good things must come to an end. Unfortunately, this applies to all things, even our favorite hockey players. Tampa Bay Lightning Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman announced today that under the terms of the NHL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement, the Lightning will exercise the use of a compliance buyout on the contract of Captain Vincent Lecavalier.

Under those terms, the Lightning will pay Lecavalier two-thirds of the value of his contract over the course of the double the length of time remaining.

This means that the Lightning will owe Lecavalier approximately $2.14 million dollars annually for the next 14 years for a total of just under $30 million.

Because of this buyout, the Lightning will save $7.7 million in cap space each season, for the next 7 seasons, to the tune of over $50 million.

Over the 14 years he has spent in the Tampa Bay community, his entire NHL career to be exact, Vincent Lecavalier has become a staple not only on the ice, but off the ice as well. He is involved in many philanthropic efforts, such as the Vincent Lecavalier Foundation who are responsible for things such as the Vincent Lecavalier Pediatric Cancer Center at All Children’s Hospital.

Vinny was the first overall pick in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft. During his tenure with the Lightning, Vinny has played in 1037 games and scored 383 goals and 491 assists for a grand total of 874 points. 112 of those goals have been game winners.

Vinny will always be considered a part of the Tampa Bay Lightning family and his legacy will be celebrated at every opportunity,” Yzerman said. “We acknowledge and thank him for his incredible accomplishments on and off the ice for the Lightning, our fans and the Tampa Bay community. He has been a significant reason for many of the team’s successes and his contributions to the community have been immeasurable.” ~ via TampaBayLightning.com

This is a hard hit to not only the community, but the fans as well. Lecavalier is a favorite player amongst many Lightning fans. At the same time, we as fans must not forget that while losing our favorite player is never fun, this move was all in the name of business. Since none of us have any experience in the General Manager’s seat, we must trust that Yzerman knows what he is doing, and has a plan in place for the team.

This will surely not be the last time that we see Lecavalier; however, it will be the last in a Lightning jersey. While it is unknown which team will win the 2004 Stanley Cup Champion will end up on, you can expect that he will take the ice at the Tampa Bay Times Forum once again, unfortunately, under a different jersey.

Were here at Bolts By The Bay wish the Captain absolutely nothing but the best as he continues his journey on the ice. He will be severely missed on and off the ice here in Tampa Bay.

What do you think of Yzerman’s decision to buy out Vinny? What plan do you think he has in place for the team? Sound off in the comments below and let us know how you feel.


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Tags: Compliance Buyout Tampa Bay Lightning Vincent Lecavalier

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