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
The new deal — which has an average annual value of $9.5 million — will come with nearly $45 million in bonuses, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.
Vasilevskiy is coming off of two dominant campaigns with the Lightning, both of which saw him earn Vezina Trophy nominations. His 2018-19 effort netted him his first career Vezina win after the 25-year-old posted a .925 save percentage, 2.40 goals-against average and six shutouts for the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Lightning.
“I’m very excited to sign this extension with the Lightning today,” Vasilevskiy said via a team release. “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.”
The Tyumen, Russia native has one season remaining on the three-year pact he signed back in 2016, which will carry a $3.5-million cap hit for the 2019-20 season.
“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,” GM Julien BriseBois said via a release. “We look forward to him continuing his career in Tampa Bay for the foreseeable future.”
With the new deal in tow, Vasilevskiy slots in alongside Nikita Kucherov as the highest-paid players in the Bolts’ roster — Kucherov is about to play through the first year of a similar eight-year, $76-million deal — while Steven Stamkos ($8.5-million cap hit) and Victor Hedman ($7.875-million cap hit) round out the club’s top four earners.
The impending $9.5-million cap hit will also make Vasilevskiy the third-highest-paid goaltender in the league once it takes effect in 2020-21, behind only Carey Price ($10.5-million cap hit) and Sergei Bobrovsky ($10-million cap hit).