The Tampa Bay Lightning will be a popular pick when Eastern Conference predictions are made for the upcoming 2014-15 NHL season. A big reason for their success this past season was 6-foot-7 goaltender Ben Bishop, who posted stunning numbers in his first full year as a no. 1.
On Saturday, the 27-year old Bishop was rewarded with a two-year extension from the Lightning worth $11.9 million, according to ESPN's Pierre LeBrun. The Tampa Bay Times' Joe Smith reports the deal includes a no-movement clause.
Bishop started 63 games for the Lightning last season, posting five shutouts, a .933 even strength save percentage and helping Tampa to 37 wins, which ended with him being named a Vezina Trophy finalist. He's currently entering the final season of a two-year deal he signed in April 2013. His $5.95M AAV puts him eighth among all goaltenders this season.
It's a smart deal for Tampa general manager Steve Yzerman. As we saw after Sergei Bobrovsky won the Vezina in 2013, the Columbus Blue Jackets werent ready to hand him a long-term deal after just one great season. Same goes for Bishop. He gets his salary nearly tripled beginning with the 2015-16 season and the Lightning aren't locked into a lengthy contract with a goalie who will be out to prove last season wasn't a fluke.
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