According to Erik Erlendsson of Tampa Bay Online, General Manager Brian Lawton informed Prospal's agent Tuesday that his client would be placed on waivers unless he informs the team otherwise over the next 24 hours.
If Prospal determines he doesn't wish to be placed on waivers, he would receive a buyout and would be free to sign with another team. If the 13th-season forward is put on waivers, that team claiming him would be responsible for the remainder of his contract -- which amounts to $10.5 million.
"After fully evaluating our roster and our position in the salary cap world, we arrived at the decision to buy out Vaclav Prospal from his contract," Lawton told Erlendsson. "We appreciate Vinny's service to the Lightning, but in the best interest of the team, we believe a difficult decision needed to be made in this case and we are going to move ahead without him. We wish Vinny all the best."
Prospal, 34, was signed to a four-year deal by the Lightning in June 2008 after being re-acquired from the Philadelphia Flyers. He had 29 goals and 57 points in 62 games in 2007-08 before his trade to Philadelphia for defenseman Alexandre Picard and a 2009 second-round draft pick. His most productive season with the Lightning was in 2005-06 when he compiled 25 goals and 80 points in 81 games. He had 19 goals and 45 points last season on a line with captain Vincent Lecavalier for much of the season.
If Prospal opts for the buyout, he would receive two-thirds of the remaining value of the contract spread out over twice the length of the contract, forcing the Lightning to take a salary cap hit of $1.167 over the next six seasons.