The Tampa Bay Lightning announced that they signed star goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy to an eight-year extension worth $9.5 million per season Monday morning.
The $76 million contract is made up of $45M in bonuses.
Andrei Vasilevskiy #Bolts
20-21: $8.5M SB -$3.5M base
21-22: $10M SB -$1M base
22-23: $6.5M SB -$4.5M base
23-24: $5M SB -$4M base
24-25: $4.5M SB -$5.5M base
25-26: $4M SB-$5M base
26-27: $3M SB-$5M base
27-28: $3M SB-$3M basehttps://t.co/6EqhbjwrLq pic.twitter.com/GkSQ0UGqt1
— CapFriendly (@CapFriendly) July 29, 2019
Vasilevskiy was named an NHL All-Star for the second time last season and won the Vezina Trophy last season as the NHL’s best goaltender, tallying a 39-10-4 record, 2.40 goals-against average, and a .919 save percentage. Vasilevskiy led the NHL in wins, was ninth for goals-against average, tied for sixth for save percentage, and tied for fourth for shutouts with six.
THE BIG CAT!! 🦁
We have re-signed Andrei Vasilevskiy to an eight-year contract worth an AAV of $9.5 million.
— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) July 29, 2019
“I’m very excited to sign this extension with the Lightning today,” Vasilevskiy said. “I’d like to thank the entire organization, including Mr. Vinik, Julien BriseBois and the great Bolts fans, for making this such a great place to play and live for me and my family.”
Gold Star Hockey client Andrei Vasilevskiy has signed an 8-year extension with the Tampa Bay Lightning. He would like to thank great fans, ownership and management for making Tampa such a great place play and live for him and his family. #WeAreGoldStar! pic.twitter.com/e6ZSGWU8BC
— Dan Milstein-Hockey (@HockeyAgent1) July 29, 2019
The deal is another comparable for Capitals’ goaltender Braden Holtby who is in the final year of a five-year contract $6.1 million per season and is due a massive raise. Earlier in the offseason, Sergei Bobrovsky signed a seven-year, $70 million contract with the Florida Panthers with an AAV of $10 million, pushing Holtby’s value to double digits unless he takes a hometown discount.
“I don’t know that [Bobrovsky’s contract] affects the decision making (of bringing him back or not),” Brian MacLellan said earlier this summer. “It’s a comparable. It’s a peer, and they look like pretty similar players. They’ve had similar success and Holtby has had a Stanley Cup on his resume.”
Bobrovsky is a two-time Vezina Trophy winner (2013, 2017) and a two-time NHL All-Star (2015, 2017). Meanwhile, Holtby has won the Vezina Trophy once (2016), been named to the All-Star Game four times (2016, 2017, 2018, 2019), and owns the single-season all-time wins record with Martin Brodeur.
“My focus is going to be to put in everything I can this summer to make sure I’m ready to help this team win come next year,” Holtby said on breakdown day. “Everything outside of that, you let it sort itself out. It’s pretty clear I love it here and love this team and this city. That’s motivation to work hard and make sure I can do everything I can so we can stay here.”
The most significant issues to bringing Holtby back may be how much the salary cap increases and center Nicklas Backstrom ($6.7M), who is an unrestricted free agent after next season and is due a raise as well. The Capitals only have one significant player coming off the books next year, Radko Gudas ($2.3M) and the salary cap is not expected to rise much more than it did this season ($2 million) before a new TV deal kicks in the year after. This means that if the Capitals want to bring back Backstrom and Holtby, they will have to get creative.
“I think we’re cognizant of it,” MacLellan said. “I’ll sit down with Backstrom and Holtby here as the summer progresses, probably in August sometime. Just talk to them both and talk about the situation within the organization and what the possibilities might be going forward. All we can do is communicate with both the players and see how it plays itself out.”
If the Capitals can’t figure out a way to bring back Holtby, they will likely turn to Russian goaltender Ilya Samsonov, a top prospect in Hershey, for the 2020-21 season.
More from the Lightning:
TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have re-signed Vezina Trophy winning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy to an eight-year contract worth an AAV of $9.5-million, vice president and general manager Julien BriseBois announced today.
“The Lightning are very proud to extend Andrei for another eight years today,” BriseBois said. “Since joining the organization Andrei has shown unmatched work ethic and professionalism both on and off the ice. We look forward to him continuing his career in Tampa Bay for the foreseeable future.”
Vasilevskiy, 6-foot-4, 215 pounds, played in 53 games for the Lightning last season, posting a 39-10-4 record to go along with a 2.40 goals-against average and a .919 save percentage. He set career highs for goals-against average and save percentage en route to becoming Tampa Bay’s first Vezina Trophy-winner as the NHL’s top goaltender. Vasilevskiy led the NHL for wins, was ninth for goals-against average, tied for sixth for save percentage and tied for fourth for shutouts with six. He was selected to represent the Lightning at the NHL All-Star Game for the second time in 2019.
The Tyumen, Russia native has played in 208 career NHL games, all with the Lightning, posting a 124-59-15 record with a 2.55 goals-against average and a .919 save percentage with 18 shutouts. He is Tampa Bay’s all-time leader for saves with 5,819 and shutouts. Vasilevskiy has also skated in 33 career Stanley Cup Playoff games with a 15-15 record, including a 2.83 goals-against average and a .912 save percentage.
Vasilevskiy, 25, joined Team Russia for the 2019 IIHF World Championships this summer and helped backstop the team to the Bronze Medal. He led all tournament goaltenders for save percentage with .946, tied for the lead with two shutouts and was second for goals-against average with 1.60.
Tampa Bay drafted Vasilevskiy in the first round, 19th overall, of the 2012 NHL Draft.
Headline photo: Cara Bahniuk
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