BOSTON (AP) — The Boston Bruins, hit with the news they will likely be losing right wing Nathan Horton to free agency, are one of many teams interested in signing free-agent forward Vincent Lecavalier.
The team met with the center Saturday in New Jersey.
Recently released by the Tampa bay Lightning via a compliance lockout, Lecavalier is clearly a hot commodity on the open market and moved onto the Bruins’ radar after Boston, the runner-up in the Stanley Cup final, was told by Horton’s agent that he will test the market.
“With what happened with Nathan, it became a little more ripe,” general manager Peter Chiarelli told the media in Newark. “We had a good meeting.”
With forwards David Krejci and Patrice Bergeron already centering the top two lines, the Bruins would likely move Lecavalier to a wing. Chiarelli said Lecavalier is willing to make the move.
While the Bruins are in the mix, Lecavalier is a Montreal native and also grew up as a fan of the Detroit Red Wings. The Canadiens talked about trading for him in 2009.
“Montreal is a special place with a lot of history and it can offer a lot,” Lecavalier said after the buyout was announced. “They have a good team, they proved it last year, so I’m open to Montreal. But I’m not closing the door on anyone.
“The door is open for everyone and after that we’ll see.”
The Philadelphia Flyers, with some cap space after two buyouts of their own last week, also have an interest in Lecavalier. Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren met with Lecavalier over the weekend, as well.
Lecavalier, 33, is likely seeking a five-year deal, on top of the $30-plus million he will receive from the Lightning for the buyout. With 32 points in 39 games this season, he has 383 goals and 874 points in his 14-year career, and led the Lightning to the 2004 Stanley Cup.