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Captain Vinny Lecavalier sticking with Tampa Bay Lightning, GM Brian Lawton says

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June

For months there have been rumors Tampa Bay Lightning captain Vinny Lecavalier could be dealt. They hit a crescendo this weekend during the draft in Montreal. The event was being held in Lecavalier's home town. His new 11-year, $85 million contract takes effect on Wednesday, and with it a no-move clause, which gives him the right to approve any transaction.

All those elements gave speculators a field day as they tried to figure out to which team Lecavalier would be dealt.

GM Brian Lawton seemed to put an end to all that Saturday after the draft when he said he expects Lecavalier to be with the Lightning next season.

"I can say he's with us and I expect him to be with us," Lawton said after the event was over. "There is nothing going on that would make me suggest he would not be with us next season."

Lawton, who has been consistent saying he has never shopped the four-time all-star center, said he did not field any calls about Lecavalier all weekend, and he ended the brief conversation with, "You know what? No more comments from me about Vinny. I'm leaving it alone."

Though Lecavalier's agent Kent Hughes said Saturday he had not spoken to Lawton, he welcomed the sentiment he has been trying to get out of Tampa Bay for a while.

"It takes a lot of pressure off in terms of the cloud of uncertainty that has been around Vinny," Hughes said. "Now he can focus on the Tampa Bay Lightning, and restoring them to the quality team they should be in the league."

[Last modified: Sunday, August 16, 2009 4:38pm]

    

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