Lightning use buy out on Lecavalier - WFLA News Channel 8

Lightning use buy out on Lecavalier

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TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

Vincent Lecavalier has been released from the Tampa Bay Lightning. The team announced Thursday they will use a compliance buy-out, as allowed by the NHL's Collective Bargaining Agreement, on center Vincent Lecavalier. The team will pay him more than $30 million dollars over the next 14 years.

Lecavalier, who has played for the team since 1998 and won the 2004 Stanley Cup, will become a free agent July 5.

The news quickly became the talk of the Tampa sports world.  Lecavalier has been on the ice for all of the team's successes, leading the team to a Stanley Cup win in 2004.  He's been a team captain, played 1,037 games, and scored 383 goals for the team.

"Lightning fans are sad," said radio personality Tom Krasniqi, of 620 am WDAE. "Vinny's been here since 1998, first overall pick that year. He's grown up in this community.

But Lecavalier has made major contributions to the community off the ice, too. He's helped raise millions for pediatric cancer research, and opened the Vincent Lecavalier Pediatric Cancer and Blood Disorder Center at All Children's Hospital.

Lecavalier learned of the buyout over breakfast with his family in Tampa this morning.

"The Lightning organization is indebted to Vinny," said the team's vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman in the news release. "We thank him for all he has done here and we wish him well as he moves forward."

Stay with WFLA.com for developments on this story.

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