Vincent Lecavalier

Lecavalier admits he’s thought about being bought out


Tampa Bay Lightning forward Vinny Lecavalier is a solid forward, but at the age of 33 he’s not the superstar he once was. That’s a problem for the Tampa Bay Lightning, given that he’s costing them $7,727,273 annually in cap space and will continue to do so through the 2019-20 campaign.

With that in mind, it might not be unreasonable for the Lightning to exercise one of their compliance buyouts on Lecavalier.

“It’s obviously something you think about,” Lecavalier told the Tampa Bay Times. “At the same time, there’s nothing I can do about it.”

The Lightning are coming off a disastrous year where they posted a 18-26-4 and they don’t have the cap space to make significant additions without getting rid of someone.

“We understand this is a difficult contract,” Lecavalier’s agent Kent Hughes said. “There’s nothing we can do to change that on our end given the restrictions incorporated into the collective bargaining agreement.”

Lightning GM Steve Yzerman was vague when asked about the possibility, stating, “As an organization, we sit and debate everything.”

Tampa Bay might opt to make a relatively smaller move and buy out forward Ryan Malone’s contract. Malone comes with a $4.5 million cap hit and recorded just eight points in 24 games in 2013.

It’s also worth adding that even though compliance buyouts completely remove a player from the salary cap, they are not free. The Lightning would still have to pay $30 million over 14 years to not play for them. By contrast, Malone would cost them a total of $3.35 million, spread out over four years.

Isles claim goalie Berube off waivers

Evgeny Kuznetsov, Jaroslav Halak
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The New York Islanders have claimed goalie Jean-Francois Berube off waivers from the Los Angeles Kings, the club announced today.

Berube won the Calder Cup last season with AHL Manchester, but the 24-year-old has yet to appear in an NHL game.

That the Isles claimed Berube could be evidence that Jaroslav Halak will not be ready to start the season after all.

If that’s the case, Berube would back up Thomas Greiss, with Stephon Williams expected to go to the AHL.

The Isles open their regular season Friday at home versus the Blackhawks, then play the next day in Chicago.

Leafs claim Corrado from Canucks, waive Panik

Frank Corrado
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The Toronto Maple Leafs have claimed one of the more intriguing players placed on waivers — former Vancouver defenseman Frank Corrado.

Corrado, 22, was waived by the Canucks on Monday. The former OHL standout had appeared in 28 career games for Vancouver — including 10 last year — but was squeezed out of an NHL spot following the emergence of Ben Hutton, who surprised many onlookers by making the 23-man roster.

Canucks GM Jim Benning will receive criticism for losing an asset like Corrado for nothing. Several Vancouver pundits warned of exposing a young, promising d-man to waivers and those warnings ultimately proved accurate.

With Toronto, Corrado could push for playing time as the club indicated on Monday veteran d-man Sephane Robidas wouldn’t be with the team to start the year. That would leave the the Leafs with seven healthy blueliners: Dion Phaneuf, Jake Gardiner, Roman Polak, Morgan Rielly, Matt Hunwick, Martin Marincin and Scott Harrington, who can go to the minors without having to clear waivers.

Petter Granberg, another defenseman, is currently on IR.

In a corresponding move to the Corrado claim, the Leafs put forward Richard Panik on waivers. Panik, who Toronto plucked off waivers from Tampa Bay last year, appeared in 76 games for the Leafs, scoring 11 goals and 17 points.