Red Wings begin pursuit of Vincent Lecavalier

(WXYZ) - The Vincent Lecavalier sweepstakes have begun, and teams across the NHL are lining up.

At 33 years old, the veteran center is far from a spring chicken, but many teams believe he still has the capability to lead a second line.

The Red Wings have drawn a number and will meet with Lecavalier Sunday, according to Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press. A previous report from TSN's Ryan Rishaug said Lecavalier was scheduled to meet with the Red Wings Saturday night.

Detroit, like most teams, are fond of the 14-year veteran's size. At 6'4" he plays like a power forward, but has hands that impress. The main red flag for the Red Wings, according to the Detroit Free Press: Lecavalier's speed -- or lack thereof.

Montreal is seen as the front-runner for the former Lightning star. Lecavalier grew up a Canadiens fan, but this week told reporters he rooted for the Red Wings, too.

"If you just think about the Detroit Red Wings, it's actually a team I grew up idolizing. Them and Montreal were my favorite teams," he said.

The Lightning bought out the remaining seven years of Lecavalier's 11-year contract earlier this week. Steve Yzerman is Tampa Bay's general manager, and was keen in making the decision to part ways with the forward.

"Ironically, Steve Yzerman was my favorite hockey player," Lecavalier said of his Detroit memories. "It's definitely a place I would consider."

The Anaheim Ducks, Dallas Stars, Philadelphia Flyers, St. Louis Blues, and Toronto Maple Leafs were among the teams to meet with Lecavalier's camp Saturday, according to TSN.

The process has just begun, but the Red Wings are certainly interested. They've made the first move, but so have a handful of other teams.

The draft will kick off a wild, busy summer in the hockey world. Lecavalier, and the Red Wings will both be in the middle of it all. It remains to be seen if they'll be in the middle together.

Brad Galli is a Sports Reporter for WXYZ Detroit. Follow Brad on Twitter @BradGalli

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