Vincent Lecavalier is a rich man thanks to the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Lightning chose to use an amnesty buyout to rid themselves of his cap hit which was north of seven million dollars per season. They still owe Lecavalier 32 million dollars, but it won't count against the cap.

It must be nice to hit the free agent market with that in your back pocket. Lecavalier has acknowledged that luxury allows him more leeway in picking the right spot for him to continue his career. Considering the overwhelming interest that has been out there for his services, Lecavalier can expect to play under a more than respectable salary during the upcoming season on top of the buyout money he will receive.

What is a reasonable expectation for his upcoming contract, and at what point should the Dallas Stars bow out to pursue other options?

We need to establish what Lecavalier is at this point before we can answer that question. Basically I sorted the entire forward group in the NHL and tried to identify a range of players very close in offensive zone start percentage, quality of competition, and even strength goals + primary assists. I then removed players still on entry level contracts. Sorry Cam Atkinson.