Lightning trade for Prospal's rights
Will make bid to re-sign veteran forward
Vaclav (Vinny) Prospal could be headed toward a third go-round with the Tampa Bay Lightning after the club acquired the forward's rights on Wednesday.
Tampa Bay made the trade with Philadelphia, the team Prospal, 32, finished the season with. The Czech native becomes an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
The Flyers will get a seventh-round draft pick in this weekend's NHL entry draft in Ottawa and, if Prospal signs a contract with the Lightning, a fourth round pick in the 2009 draft.
"After assessing the pending free agent market and receiving a great deal of input from our prospective new owners, the decision was made to attempt to pursue Vinny Prospal for a return engagement to Tampa," Lightning general manager Jay Feaster said in a statement.
"While we realize some of the risks involved in this strategy, we also know that Prospal and [Vincent] Lecavalier have a very special chemistry together … "
Feaster was referring to the sale of the club to a group led by movie producer Oren Koules, which the NHL Board of Governors reportedly approved earlier in the day.
Prospal finished with 33 goals and 38 assists in 80 games with Tampa Bay and Philadelphia this season. He added three goals and 10 assists in 18 playoff games with the Flyers.
He was in his second stint in Philadelphia, having started his career there in 1996-97.
Prospal has 179 goals and 375 assists in 792 NHL games in a career that also included turns with Ottawa, Florida and Anaheim.
The Lightning won the right to select first in the NHL entry draft on Friday, with Feaster indicating the team would in all likelihood select junior scoring star Steve Stamkos.
Tampa Bay are also looking to hire a head coach after firing John Tortorella, who led the team to the 2004 Stanley Cup in his five seasons.