Lightning buy out last three years of Prospal deal Staff

7/28/2009 8:51:53 PM

Vaclav Prospal's days as a member of the Tampa Bay Lightning are over.

According to the Tampa Tribune, the left winger was told by the team that they were going to buy out the remaining three years of his contract.

Prospal, who signed a four-year, $14 million contract with the Lightning last year, had $10.5 million left on his deal.

"After fully evaluating our roster and our position in the salary cap world, we arrived at the decision to buy out Vaclav Prospal from his contract," general manager Brian Lawton told the Tribune. "We appreciate Vinny's service to the Lightning, but in the best interest of the team, we believe a difficult decision needed to be made in this case, and we are going to move ahead without him. We wish Vinny all the best."

Prospal has 24 hours to either accept the buyout from the team, or choose to go through waivers.  If the winger chooses to take the buyout, he'll become an unrestricted free agent.

By buying out Prospal, Tampa Bay will have a salary cap hit of $1.167 for the next six seasons.

Last season, Prospal recorded 19 goals and 26 assists.