Vinny ready to Bolt?

MIKE ZEISBERGER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:22 AM ET

Over to you, St. Vincent.

Will you stay in Tampa with the Lightning, the team with which you signed an 11-year contract extension over the summer?

Or will you eventually allow yourself to be moved to, say, the Montreal Canadiens, where, as a native son, you would be treated like a saint?

The ball -- or the puck, as the case may be -- is in Vinny Lecavalier's court.

The Lecavalier situation had the hockey world buzzing yesterday, especially after a report suggested the Lightning might be looking to cut payroll for the survival of their financially strapped franchise.

While Lightning general manager Brian Lawton has denied shopping his stud forward, word around the league is that the team has been taking inquiries.

A TSN report suggested a Canadiens offer would include Tomas Plekanec, Chris Higgins, prospect P.K. Subban, Josh Gorges and a package of draft picks including more than one first-round pick.

Habs general manager Bob Gainey was coy when asked about the potential of Lecavalier coming to Montreal, a scenario reported by a Montreal radio station last week.

"We don't really talk about trade rumours," Gainey told reporters yesterday. "If I don't talk about them, our players don't hear about them.

"What happens in any of these situations, whether it's Marian Gaborik in Minnesota or (Jay) Bouwmeester in Florida, those names come up for different reasons and if we're involved, we like to do it quietly."

Lecavalier's 11-year, $86 million US extension, which includes a no-trade clause, kicks in on July 1. There has been speculation that dealing the superstar centre would send a poor message to fans in Tampa, where the Lightning won a Stanley Cup less than five years ago.

Lecavalier's agent, Ken Hughes, told ESPN.com that Lawton insists he is not actively trying to move his client. But that has not stopped teams from calling the Lightning.

With the Lightning visiting the Los Angeles Kings last night, Hughes reportedly flew to California to learn more about the situation.


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