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NHL notebook: Vincent Lecavalier heading to Flyers

Ex-Lightning star gets $22.5m

The Lightning let Vincent Lecavalier go last week.

AP/File

The Lightning let Vincent Lecavalier go last week.

The Flyers signed veteran center Vincent Lecavalier to a multiyear contract Tuesday night.

The Lightning let their 33-year-old captain go last week, and the Flyers pounced, signing him to a reported five-year deal worth $22.5 million.

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Tampa Bay cut ties with Lecavalier to clear space under a smaller salary cap. The Flyers took advantage of both of their compliance buyouts to release forward Danny Briere and goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov.

Lecavalier didn’t mesh with Tampa Bay’s plans, or at least his contract didn’t with seven years and $45 million remaining on it. The four-time All-Star, drafted No. 1 overall by the Lightning in 1998, helped the franchise win the Stanley Cup in 2004 and scored a franchise-high 383 goals.

By buying him out, it saved Tampa Bay more than $7.7 million in cap space for the upcoming season. The move cost them $32 million over 14 years because he is due two-thirds the value of his deal spread over twice the term of the contract. He scored a league-high 52 times during the 2006-07 season and had 32 points in 39 games during the shortened season.

Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren met with Lecavalier on Saturday, a day before the NHL draft. Lecavalier, who also met with the Bruins Saturday, had signed an 11-year deal with Tampa Bay in 2008.

Penguins ink Letang

The Penguins locked up another elite young player, agreeing to terms with Kris Letang.

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A finalist for the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s top defenseman, Letang received an eight-year, $58 million contract extension. He would have entered the final season of an existing contract that carried an annual salary-cap hit of $3.5 million. That will now jump to $7.25 beginning in 2014-15, before which Letang was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent.

Letang, 26, tied for the scoring lead among NHL defensemen last season with 38 points in 35 games. He has 44 goals and 165 assists in 385 career games.

In addition, several outlets, including ESPN and NHL.com, reported late Tuesday night that the Penguins re-signed winger Pascal Dupuis to a four-year, $15 million deal.

Letang and Dupuis join star centers Sidney Crosby (12 years, $104.4 million) and Evgeni Malkin (eight years, $76 million) as players the Penguins have given long-term contracts to in the past 13 months.

Under the collective bargaining agreement, Letang and Dupuis cannot sign until Friday.

A pair of Stars

The Stars re-signed forwards Lane MacDermid and Luke Gazdic to one-year contracts. MacDermid was acquired as part of a trade that sent Jaromir Jagr to Boston. The 23-year-old scored his first career NHL goal with the Stars and had two goals and nine penalty minutes in six games. Gazdic had 11 points (four goals) in 59 games with the Texas Stars (AHL) . . . The Blue Jackets signed forward Blake Comeau, 27, to a one-year contract extension through next season. He has notched 67 goals and 81 assists in 361 NHL games with the Blue Jackets, Flames, and Islanders . . . The Flames acquired forward T.J. Galiardi from the Sharks for a fourth-round draft pick in 2015 and signed him to a one-year contract worth $1.25 million . . . Sabres coach Ron Rolston hired Joe Sacco as an assistant. A former Medford High and Boston University standout, Sacco spent four seasons as the Avalanche coach before being fired in April.

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