The Tampa Bay Lightning have locked in goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy to an eight-year contract extension worth $76 million. The team made the announcement Monday.
The deal pays out an average annual value of $9.5 million and will kick in starting in 2020-2021.
The 25-year-old will enter the final year of his current three-year contract in 2019-2020 and will land a $3.5 million cap hit, although his base salary jumps to $4 million. After that, a series of signing bonuses – nearly $45 million in total throughout the course of the new deal – will make Vasilevskiy one of the most well-paid goalies in the NHL.
In fact, when the deal kicks in for 2020-2021, Vasilevskiy will tie Sergei Bobrovsky as the highest-paid goalie in the league. Only Bobrovsky and Carey Price will carry a higher cap hit that year.
“The Lightning are very proud to extend Andrei for another eight years today. Since joining the organization Andrei has shown unmatched work ethic and professionalism both on and off the ice,” Tampa general manager Julien BriseBois said. “We look forward to him continuing his career in Tampa Bay for the foreseeable future.”
For Vasilevskiy, this is a clear reward for a stunning season in 2018-2019. Despite an early playoff exit, the netminder led his Lightning to a tremendous regular season run.
Vasilevskiy finished the season with a .925 save percentage and a 2.40 goals against average, which landed him a Vezina Trophy.
“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.”
Tampa will be dishing out some serious cash when Vasilevskiy’s deal kicks in. Nikita Kucherov will be getting into the second year of his eight-year contract and will earn a $9.5 million cap hit, which is structured similarly due to bonuses. That ties him with Vasilevskiy in 2020-2021 as the highest-paid players on the Lightning.
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