Here's something to chew on, Lightning fans.
Vinny Lecavalier's time with the team, possibly, could be over.
That's a theory floated in Tuesday's Tampa Bay Times by Lightning beat writer Damian Cristodero. He explains a salary-cap mechanism that many teams will be using with the cap number set to fall from $70.2 million to $64.3 million. And with Lecavalier in the front half of an 11-year, $85 million deal it's certainly one that could apply to Lecavalier.
Teams will be able to use a compliance buyout twice over the next two offseasons. It will allow teams to buy out the remainder of a player's contract, still owing two-thirds of the remaining money but being able to spread that out over double the remaining time -- and they key, taking the money off the cap.
"We understand this is a difficult contract," Lecavalier's agent Kent Hughes told the Times. "Ultimately it's a decision the Tampa Bay Lightning will have to assess and make."
When asked for comment GM Steve Yzerman said "We just finished 28th. We should be looking at every possible way to improve our team. I'm not about to say we're doing this or we're not doing that. As an organization, we sit and debate everything."
Cristodero talked to Lecvalier himself. "It's obviously something you think about. There's nothing I can do about it," he said.
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If it happens it would be soon. The buyout window starts 48 hours after the Stanley Cup Final conclude, and expires July 4.
Cristodero also concludes the Lightning will almost certainly used the designation to terminate the contract of Ryan Malone.