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Career decisions for Lecavalier

Had an interesting talk with Kent Hughes, the agent for Lightning star Vinny Lecavalier. He said he is keeping track of all the changes coming to the Tampa Bay organization -- Oren Koules' OK Hockey taking ownership and Barry Melrose apparently taking over as coach -- but said he does not believe it will affect the team's commitment to sign Lecavalier to a long-term deal.

More than that, Hughes said his impression is the Lightning wants Lecavalier "to finish his career with the organization."

"I've had no specific conversations," Hughes added, "but the inferences I've drawn is the team's intention is to keep Vinny in the organization. Whether that is with a series of contracts or one contract, it's too early to tell."

Lightning general manager Jay Feaster has said the Lightning wants to lock Lecavalier in. Koules is believed to want the same, preferably before Lecavalier becomes a free agent after next season. Teams can sign their players to extensions beginning July 1.

That the Lightning will work to lock in Lecavalier for the rest of his career is not earth-shattering news; it really is a no-brainer. But it is the first time it has been publicly stated. That should be welcomed news for Lightning fans who are watching the reshaping of their team and aren't quite sure at this point where all the chips will land. And after the trade of Brad Richards, keeping Lecavalier is probably like throwing a life line to fans who have suffered through the free fall.

Hughes reiterated what Lecavalier has said before.

"Vinny," he said, "wants to stay in Tampa."

Now, can I please start my vacation? 

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


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