Cap-strapped Lightning deal Sydor to Stars

Updated: July 2, 2006, 5:14 PM ET

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Lightning are beginning to feel the restraints of the salary cap.

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With a large portion of their money tied up in their three star players, the Lightning on Sunday traded defenseman Darryl Sydor to the Dallas Stars for a 2008 fourth-round pick.

Tampa Bay has nearly $21 million of its $44 million salary cap devoted to Vincent Lecavalier, Brad Richards and 2004 Hart Trophy winner Martin St. Louis next season, leaving only half of its allowed funds to be spread out through the rest of the roster. Sydor is slated to make $2.128 million in 2006-07.

"This is the worst part of living in the salary cap era, particularly when you are coming off the success we had in 2004," Tampa Bay general manager Jay Feaster said. "Darryl Sydor is one of the toughest competitors and greatest team players ever to wear the Lightning sweater. He was the missing piece that helped us win the Stanley Cup and his leadership has been invaluable.

"It is terribly painful to trade Syd, and yet in the cap world, given the commitments we have already made and the priorities we have established, we simply do not have the luxury of continuing to carry his salary. We needed to make this move in order to give ourselves the cap space and flexibility necessary to complete our own Group II [free agent] signings and finish assembling our roster for the upcoming season."

Drafted seventh overall by Los Angeles in 1990, Sydor recorded four goals and 19 assists in 80 games with Tampa Bay last season. The 34-year-old helped the Lightning win the Stanley Cup in 2004 and also captured the championship in 1999 during his first tenure with the Stars.

"We are very familiar with the type of player and person that Darryl Sydor is and he immediately solidifies our defensive corps," Dallas general manager Doug Armstrong said. "Darryl is a proven winner in the National Hockey League and he brings a level of veteran leadership, toughness and experience that very few active players can match. We are extremely happy to have him back in Dallas."

A two-time All-Star, Sydor has collected 89 goals, 361 assists and 660 penalty minutes in 1,023 career games with the Kings, Stars, Columbus Blue Jackets and Lightning.