One of the most rumoured contract extensions has been floating around for the last few weeks and it finally finished up on Sunday. Their franchise player, Vincent Lecavalier, signed an 11-year, $85 million deal, which will ensure that they have their man through the 2019-2020 season.
Lecavalier, originally drafted by the Lightning first overall in 1998, will likely remain a Tampa Bay player for the remainder of his career, since his contract will finish at at 39, only three months before he turns 40.
Over the last couple seasons, Lecavalier has been a top 10 pool player, finishing last year with 92 points (40G, 52A) in 81 games, not playing the last game due to a shoulder injury. His partnership with winger, Martin St. Louis, has been a well documented one over the past few years and St. Louis still has three seasons left on his current deal.
Lecavalier hit career-highs in in 2006-2007 in all scoring categories, scoring 52 goals and 56 assists for 108 points, which finished him fourth in pool scoring that season.
While this signing doesn't have an immediate impact to the team's salary cap number, his salary cap hit of $7.73 million for those 11 years has the potential to be a pretty big bargain for the Lightning, but sub-par seasons do seem to add up faster than big offensive years, so, it'll be a while before we see the true bargain value of this deal.
With the way the Lightning are being built at the moment, the team will hopefully relieve a lot of the pressure on their captain, which also has the potential for raising Lecavalier's game to new heights. For pool value for next season, it's safe to say that he'll stay about the same for the next season. Unless you're a big Lightning fan, you may not want to jump on him too quickly, as there are a couple players that suffered poor seasons and will be ready to bounce back.