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Lecavalier, Lightning move closer to new deal

OTTAWA — The agent for All-Star center Vinny Lecavalier said he is "confident" his client and the Lightning will get a long-term deal done.

Kent Hughes said negotiations have heated up over the past "three or four days," and while he said a final deal is not yet close, the sides have worked out the parameters.

"And we're not so far apart that we won't be able to work out our differences," Hughes said.

Signing Lecavalier, 28, one of the league's top players with 92 goals over his past two seasons, would be huge for a team trying to rebuild its image after last season's last-place finish.

It also would be a coup for OK Hockey, which is poised to take ownership of the team and could use the signing to prove it is serious about building a winner.

Lecavalier, who has one year remaining on his current four-year, $27.4-million contract, could not be reached for comment. And the Lightning declined to comment.

But Hughes said it should be no surprise the sides are working in this direction. Tampa Bay has been clear it wants Lecavalier to end his career with the organization.

"When two parties want the same thing, things get worked out," Hughes said. "We've made some strides, and I'm confident we will get a deal done."

NHL threats include forcing Rangers sale

NEW YORK — The NHL is threatening to kick the owners of the Rangers out of the league or force them to sell the team.

The league filed court papers Wednesday that asked a judge to agree Madison Square Garden breached its contract by challenging league rules. The league says the owners' contract with the league bans them from going to court to challenge rules or procedures.

Madison Square Garden sued the league in September after the league said it wanted to take over the team's Web site and other promotions. A judge later ruled the league was within its rights to take control of the site.

MSG spokesman Barry Watkins said Thursday the league was consistent but wrong in its handling of the dispute.

"Despite trying to resolve our differences privately, the league has responded with excessive fines and now threats that have nothing to do with the merits of our position," he said.

"We will pursue our case vigorously and will not be intimidated by the NHL's bullying tactics."

There is no timetable for a ruling.

Hurricanes: Tim Gleason agreed to a four-year, $11-million extension. In his fourth season, the defenseman, 25, had three goals, 16 assists and was plus-5. Also, the rights to Darcy Hordichuk were acquired from the Predators for a 2009 fifth-round pick. The wing, who can become a free agent July 1, had a goal and two assists in 45 games last season.

Information from the Associated Press contributed to this report.

Lecavalier, Lightning move closer to new deal 06/19/08 [Last modified: Friday, June 20, 2008 7:10am]

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