Buyout trade between Lightning, Maple Leafs for Vincent Lecavalier reportedly nixed

The NHL reportedly closed a loophole after hearing of a potential buyout deal between the Maple...

The NHL reportedly closed a loophole after hearing of a potential buyout deal between the Maple Leafs and Lightning for Vincent Lecavalier. (MIKE CARLSON/Reuters)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:41 PM ET

The NHL closed a loophole for compliance buyouts after some clever bargaining between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Tampa Bay Lightning.

According to the New York Post, the two clubs discussed a deal that would send centre Vincent Lecavalier and an asset – possibly a draft pick – to the Leafs. Toronto would then buy out Lecavalier’s massive contract and Tampa Bay would sign him to a more modest deal.

Such a deal would save the Lightning a large amount of dough and get out from under Lecavalier’s $7.7-million salary cap hit. The 33-year-old centre has seven years and $45 million left on his contract. A buyout would see him paid $30 million over 14 years.

The collective bargaining agreement prevents teams from re-signing players they’ve bought out for one year. Upon hearing of the potential deal between the Leafs and Lightning, the NHL ruled such a scheme would circumvent the CBA.

The Lightning are looking to cut salary with the cap going down to $64.3 million next season. The team has just 10 forwards, six defenceman and two goalies signed with $2.4 million in cap space.

Lecavalier signed an eleven-year, $85 million contract with the Lightning that began in 2009-10.


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