Lecavalier was administered a compliance buyout by the Tampa Bay Lightning earlier on Thursday. He is now permitted to sign with any team of his choosing, with the exception of the Lightning. According to Lecavalier, he is open to all opportunity and doesn't have a preferred destination at this time.
Some speculated that Lecavalier would sign a one-year contract with a new team in order to re-sign with the Lightning after this season. Based upon the player's statements, that doesn't appear to be a likely scenario.
Due to the declining nature of the salary cap to $64.3 million for the 2013-14 season, all teams were allotted two buyouts to clear contracts off their books without penalty. In addition, the buyouts allowed teams to avoid the cap benefit recapture penalty that punishes clubs who sign players to front- or back-loaded contracts in an attempt to lower the annual average value of a player's contract.
This was the case with Lecavalier's contract, which had artificial years at the end of the deal to lower his commitment to the salary cap. Had he failed to complete the entirety of his 11-year, $85-million contract, Tampa Bay could have faced substantial cap penalties.
Lecavalier is expected to be in heavy demand this summer and will likely have several suitors for his service.