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NHL free agency: Flyers sign former Tampa Bay captain Vincent Lecavalier

Wed., July 3, 2013


The Philadelphia Flyers have signed veteran center Vincent Lecavalier to a multi-year contract.

The Tampa Bay Lightning let their 33-year-old captain go last week, and the Flyers pounced Tuesday night, signing him to a reported five-year deal worth $22.5 million.

Tampa Bay cut ties with Lecavalier to clear space under a smaller salary cap. The Philadelphia Flyers took advantage of both of their compliance buyouts to release forward Danny Briere and goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov.

Lecavalier didn’t mesh with Tampa Bay’s plans, or at least his contract didn’t with seven years and $45 million remaining on it. The four-time All-Star, drafted No. 1 overall by the Lightning in 1998, helped the franchise win the Stanley Cup in 2004 and scored a franchise-high 383 goals.

By buying him out, it saved Tampa Bay more than $7.7 million in cap space for the upcoming season. The move cost them $32 million over 14 years because he is due two-thirds the value of his deal spread over twice the term of the contract.

He scored a league-high 52 times during the 2006-07 season and had 32 points in 39 games during the shortened season.

Around the league

Minnesota made qualifying offers to five restricted free agents: former Spokane Chief Jared Spurgeon and fellow defensemen Tyler Cuma and Kyle Medvec, and right wings Justin Fontaine and Carson McMillan. … Pittsburgh locked up another elite young player long term, announcing it agreed to terms with defenseman Kris Letang. The Norris Trophy finalist for the NHL’s top defenseman received an eight-year, $58 million contract extension. Letang, 26, tied for the scoring lead among NHL defensemen last season with 38 points in 35 games. … Columbus signed forward Blake Comeau to a one-year contract extension through next season. … San Jose traded forward TJ Galiardi to Calgary in exchange for a fourth-round pick in the 2015 draft. … Boston alternate captain Patrice Bergeron says he won’t need surgery for any of the injuries he suffered in the Stanley Cup final. … Victorious Chicago brought the Stanley Cup home Tuesday and proceeded to take it on a pub crawl, with scores of ecstatic fans flocking to taverns and restaurants.


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