Tampa Bay Lightning buy out Vinny Lecavalier's contract, team captain won't return next season

3:02 PM, Jun 27, 2013   |    comments
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Tampa Bay Lightning center Vincent Lecavalier chases a puck along the boards against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the second period at the CONSOL Energy Center on February 24, 2013.



Tampa, Florida -- Tampa Bay Lightning star and team captain Vinny Lecavalier won't be back with the team next year.

The Lightning just announced they are "buying out the contract" of the team's star player. That means Lecavalier will become a free agent, able to sign with any team in the NHL, except the Lightning.

The move is a financial one, designed to free up room for Tampa Bay under the league's salary cap.

There is a possibility Vinny could one day come back to the team.

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, goals with 383, power play goals with 112 and game-winning goals with 60.  

Lecavalier played 14 seasons in Tampa Bay, posting 12 consecutive seasons with 20 goals or more.

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