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Report: Lightning, Lecavalier agree on 9-year, $77M deal

The Tampa Bay Lightning and their All-Star center, Vincent Lecavalier, have agreed to terms on a nine-year deal that likely will ensure he finishes his career with the team, according to Canadian media reports Wednesday.

TSN of Canada is reporting the contract extension is worth $77 million. The Canadian Press is reporting that according to a source close to the negotiations, the deal is worth between $75 million and $80 million.

Lecavalier, the Lightning's No. 1 draft pick in 1998, has one more year left on his current four-year, $27.5 million contract, and he would have been an unrestricted free agent in July 2009.

Any deal cannot be announced until July 1, as stipulated in the collective bargaining agreement.

According to TSN, Lecavalier's extension will hit the Lightning's salary cap for about $8.55 million annually, and has a "no-movement" clause.

Sources told TSN that some minor details need to be worked out, but there appear to be no barriers to completion.

Lecavalier, 28, already has his name on the Stanley Cup, which the Lightning won in 2004. He holds the franchise records for points (602), goals (273) and games played (710).

This past season, he had 40 goals and 92 points, finishing seventh in the league in scoring despite the Lightning's last-place standing.

His season ended April 15 when he had surgery to repair the labrum in his right shoulder, an injury suffered April 3 in a game against the Washington Capitals.

The team has said that Lecavalier should be ready for the start of training camp in September.

The Lightning's new owners, Oren Koules and Len Barrie, have been proactive in getting the key elements to their new property secured. They focused on getting Lecavalier's deal settled; hired former ESPN analyst Barry Melrose as the new coach; and as a bonus, drafted highly touted forward Steve Stamkos with the No. 1 overall pick


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