Source: Bettman tells Bolts to hang on to Lecavalier

BRUCE GARRIOCH, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:49 AM ET

MONTREAL -- Will Vincent Lecavalier stay or will he go?

League sources say NHL commissioner Gary Bettman told Tampa owners Oren Koules and Len Barrie during a meeting earlier this week that if they want to sell the team, they should hold on to their superstar.

"From what I'm told, Bettman said: 'You better not trade this guy or nobody is going to buy that franchise', " a league source said yesterday.

There has been plenty of speculation that Bolts GM Brian Lawton is going to move Lecavalier to the Canadiens or Kings during the draft.

Sources say Lecavalier hasn't been approached about any deal and the Bolts have promised they will seek his blessing before making a trade.

Koules would like to clear Lecavalier's salary from the payroll, but Barrie has the right to veto any trade.

Waiting on Hossa

As reported yesterday, league sources say the Red Wings have offered W Marian Hossa a 10-year deal believed to be in the $62-million US range. While Hossa and his agent, Ritch Winter, are going to mull over the offer until Monday, they also have to look at how attractive Hossa is going to be as a potential unrestricted free agent. League sources say the Bruins are trying to deal either C Marc Savard or W Phil Kessel so they can clear up the cap space to sign Hossa. If they can move either player, it would also help Boston GM Peter Chiarelli become more active in pursuit of disgruntled Senators W Dany Heatley, whose wishlist of landing spots includes Boston.

Off the glass

The Panthers were fielding offers yesterday for D Jay Bouwmeester's negotiating rights. Sources said last night that the Flames were the frontrunners ... The Ducks are expecting an answer today from D Scott Niedermayer on whether he plans on playing next season. If he decides to return, it's believed D Chris Pronger will be dealt. The Blues have been trying to reacquire him for soon time ... If W Erik Cole doesn't re-sign with Carolina, expect the Senators to make a pitch for him as a UFA ... The Kings were talking to San Jose about a possible deal for C Patrick Marleau.


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