The Lightning parted ways with captain Dave Andreychuk on Tuesday, placing the 42-year-old on waivers.
If Andreychuk isn't claimed, the 23-year NHL veteran will be assigned to the Springfield Falcons of the AHL, but the Lightning said they won't require him to report.
If Andreychuk retired, the Lightning wouldn't be required to pay his 2005-06 salary, but by placing him on waivers, the team can pay his full $800,000 salary.
"When we entered into the contract with David this summer, both sides did so in good faith, recognizing that no one would work harder in the summer preparing for the new season than David," Lightning Executive Vice President and General Manager Jay Feaster said in a statement.
"At the same time, both sides understood that it would take some time to work through the impact of missing an entire season. What neither side could foresee was the type of game the 'new NHL' would be upon its return -- a game in which speed and quickness carry the day. After giving ourselves half a season to evaluate and analyze, it became clear to us that David's game was not suited to the 'new NHL.'"
Andreychuk has appeared in 42 of the Lightning's 43 games this season, scoring six goals with 12 assists. He has appeared in 1,639 games (fourth most in NHL history) in his career and is the NHLs all-time leader in power play goals with 274.
The Lightning signed Andreychuk as a free agent in 2001, and he was named the seventh captain in team history in 2002.
He ranks second all-time in the NHL among left wings in goals
(640), assists (698) and points (1,338). He reached the 20-goal
mark for the 19th time in 2003-04, third most in NHL history behind
Gordie Howe (22) and Ron Francis (20). His 1,338 career points is
tied for 23rd most in NHL history.
During the Lightning's playoff run in 2004, he had a goal and 13
assists on the way to being part of a Stanley Cup-winning team for
the first time.
Andreychuk has also played for Buffalo, Toronto, New Jersey,
Boston and Colorado.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.