NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly sent out a memo to all 30 teams this week, warning them to play by the book when it comes to buyouts and trades.
Daly's memo warned that any trade/buyout/re-acquire scenario would be deemed a circumvention of the collective bargaining agreement. The CBA prevents teams from re-signing players they've bought out for one year.
Earlier this week, The New York Post reported that the Tampa Bay Lightning and Toronto Maple Leafs had talked about a potential deal to send Vincent Lecavalier to Toronto, where the Leafs would get an asset out of that deal in exchange for using their financial might to absorb a buyout on Lecavalier's contract.
However, later on Wednesday Maple Leafs general manager Dave Nonis told TSN that he never spoke to the Lightning about Lecavalier.
The Post story speculated that after such a deal, Lecavalier could potentially re-sign with the Lightning at a cheaper rate as an unrestricted free agent. The deal would have gotten the Lightning out from under Lecavalier's $7.7 million salary cap hit. The 33-year-old has seven years and $45 million left on his contract. A buyout would pay him $30 million over 14 years.
Lecavalier signed an eleven-year, $85 million contract with the Lightning prior to the 2009-10 season.