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Lightning Will Buy Out Vincent Lecavalier’s Contract

Len Redkoles/NHL via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- After 14 seasons with the team, the Tampa Bay Lightning have decided to buy out the contract of center Vincent Lecavalier.

"Vinny has been a significant reason for many of our past successes, including the 2004 Stanley Cup, and his contributions to the community are immeasurable," general manager Steve Yzerman said in statement on the team's website.

Lecavalier's contract wasn't set to expire until the end of the 2020 season. While he will no longer effect the team's salary cap, Lecavalier, 33, will be paid $32.67 million over the next 14 years by the team.

Despite the new-found financial freedom, it was still a hard decision by the team.

"After much internal deliberation, we believe this will prove to be a pivotal move for us as we strive to achieve our long-term goal of competing at the highest level, year-in, year-out," Yzerman added. "The economics and structure of the CBA are necessitating this decision and we at the Lightning are excited at the newly created opportunities this presents to us."

During his time with the Lightning, Lecavalier scored 383 goals and compiled 491 assists for 874 points.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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