Lecavalier to Habs talk hits fever pitch

BRUCE GARRIOCH, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 12:39 AM ET

MONTREAL - Is Vincent Lecavalier finally going to get to come home?

While Lightning GM Brian Lawton told reporters yesterday that he hasn't received any calls about the all-star centre's availability, the chatter has shifted into high gear that the Canadiens are finally going to acquire Lecavalier before July 1.

With the Bolts trying to get to the salary floor -- which was set at $40.8 million (all terms US) yesterday -- next season, the belief is Lecavalier is going to be dealt. Montreal GM Bob Gainey told reporters Thursday he is looking for a No. 1 centre and he has plenty of money to spend.

The problem is the Habs don't have much to offer. Sources say they could send G Jaroslav Halak and C Christopher Higgins, who is a pending RFA, to the Bolts as part of a package. Lecavalier is scheduled to make an average of $7.27 million for the next 11 years.

Lecavalier might not be the only Bolts' player on the move. Sources say Tampa has been putting pressure on C Vaclav Prospal to waive his no-movement clause, but he's dug in his heels and made it clear to owner Oren Koules that he plans to retire in Tampa.

No dealing Bouwmeester

The Panthers look like they're going to have to hang on to D Jay Bouwmeester until July 1, when can become a UFA. The indications are Bouwmeester told teams interested in acquiring his negotiating rights before the draft that he intends to test the free-agent market. The Flyers, Flames and Canucks all made a pitch for Bouwmeester's rights, but were told there was little or no chance he would sign.

Off the glass

The Oilers haven't gotten anywhere in contract discussions with G Dwayne Roloson, who can become a UFA July 1. The 39-year-old will have no problem finding a job if he hits the open market ... The Canucks haven't held any recent contract discussions with agent J.P. Barry about Daniel and Henrik Sedin. Barry doesn't believe a deal will get done by July 1 ... The Senators checked out the asking price on D Chris Pronger before he was dealt to the Flyers by the Ducks.


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