The Tampa Bay Lightnings on Tuesday informed left wing Vinny Prospal that the team is buying out the remaining three years of his contract.
VINCENT "VINNY" PROSPAL
Tampa Bay general manager Brian Lawton sent a letter of intent to Prospal and his agent informing them of the team's decision. Prospal has 24 hours to request not to be placed on waivers, otherwise he automatically goes through waivers and any team that picks him up would be responsible for the remaining $10.5 million on his contract. If he elects not to be placed on waivers, Prospal would receive the buyout and become an unrestricted free agent.
Vaclav Prospal played his junior hockey with Motor Ceske Budejovice in his native Czech Republic. It was there that the long arm of the Philadelphia Flyers' scouting staff caught a hold of his NHL rights in the 1993 NHL Entry Draft.
A two-time member of the Czech Republic World Junior team in 1994 and 1995, Vincent Prospal turned pro immediately upon his selection by the Flyers, joining the Hershey Bears of the AHL for three seasons of development. In his fourth year, Prospal played the bulk of the campaign with the Philadelphia Phantoms of the AHL before making his first leap into NHL action with the Flyers just ahead of the playoffs. From that point forward, he has remained an NHL regular.
Following a career year with the Lightning in 2002-03, Prospal signed as a free agent with the Anaheim Mighty Ducks in the summer of 2003. Upon his arrival in Anaheim, Prospal struggled offensively and subsequently was re-acquired by Tampa Bay in the summer of 2004. After spending a year leading the Czech Extraliga's Ceske B Ceske Budejovice hockey team in scoring during the NHL lockout, he returned to the NHL in 2005-06 and tallied a career high in goals (25) and points (80). After less of an offensive output in 2006-07, prospal recorded 29 goals and 57 points in 62 games during the 2007-08 season with the Lightning before he was dealt to the Flyers at the NHL trade deadline on February 26, 2008. His return to Philadelphia was short lived however, after only 18 regular season and 17 playoff games he was acquired by the Tampa Bay Lightning during the day of the NHL draft.
Aside from his two World Junior appearances, Prospal has also represented his homeland at the 2000, 2004 and 2005 World Championships, as well as the 2004 World Cup of Hockey and the 2006 Winter Olympics.