Lightning sign Andrei Vasilevskiy to 8-year, $76M extension

Apr 14, 2019; Columbus, OH, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (88) looks to the video board during a stop in play against the Columbus Blue Jackets during the third period in game three of the first round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 14, 2019; Columbus, OH, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (88) looks to the video board during a stop in play against the Columbus Blue Jackets during the third period in game three of the first round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed Vezina Trophy-winning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy to an eight-year contract worth $76 million.

Vasilevskiy’s deal will carry an AAV of $9.5 million and include a no-movement clause in years two through five, with a 10-team no-trade clause in the final three years. He has one year remaining on his current contract that carries a cap hit of $3.5 million.

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The 25-year-old earned his first Vezina nod last season after leading the NHL with 39 wins to go along with a .925 save percentage, 2.40 goal-against average and six shutouts. It was a different story in the playoffs however, as Vasilevskiy was less than stellar in Tampa’s first-round sweep at the hands of the Columbus Blue Jackets, posting an .856 save percentage and 3.83 GAA.

Regardless, Vasilevskiy has been one of the league’s top netminders over the last two seasons and at only 25 years old, his best days could very well be in front of him.

The tricky part now for the Lightning is making it all work under the salary cap when Vasilevskiy’s new deal kicks in next season.

Brayden Point, who is coming off a 41-goal, 92-point campaign, still needs a contract for this season — and that’s not going to come cheap. They also have to find space for up-and-comers Mikhail Sergachev, Anthony Cirelli, Mathieu Joseph and Erik Cernak, who will all become RFAs next summer. Tampa should get some relief from Seattle in the expansion draft, and Alex Killorn’s full no-trade clause becomes a modified 16-team NTC in 2020-21, but it will still take some savvy cap manoeuvring by GM Julien BriseBois in the next few years to keep this core intact.

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