Lightning sign Andrei Vasilevskiy to eight-year, $76 million deal

Andrei Vasilevskiy won the Vezina Trophy in June. Now he’s getting paid.

The Tampa Bay Lightning signed their star goaltender to an eight-year extension worth $76 million, the team announced Monday.

Vasilevskiy has been a finalist for the Vezina award, which recognizes the best goaltender in the league, each of the last two seasons, taking the award this summer. In 53 starts last year, he posted a career-high in save percentage (.925) and had a 2.40 goals-against average. Vasilevskiy’s 39 wins led the NHL last season for a Tampa Bay team that tied the NHL record for wins in a season with 62.

Vasilevskiy couldn’t carry that form into the playoffs – he posted a 3.82 goals-against average as the Lightning got swept in the first round by the Columbus Blue Jackets.

“Since joining the organization Andrei has shown unmatched work ethic and professionalism both on and off the ice,” general manager Julien BriseBois said in a statement. “We look forward to him continuing his career in Tampa Bay for the foreseeable future.”

The extension kicks in for the 2020-2021 season, with Vasilevskiy set to earn $3.5 million next season on the final year of his 2016 deal. The 25-year-old’s new $9.5 million average annual value is third highest among active goalies, behind Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens ($10.5 million) and Sergei Bobrovsky of the Florida Panthers ($10 million), while jumping ahead of Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist’s $8.5 million annual cap hit. Vasilevskiy was set to become a restricted free agent next summer, but will now be locked down until the 2027-2028 season.

“I’m very excited to sign this extension with the Lightning today,” Vasilevskiy said in a statement. “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 my family.”

A Tyumen, Russia native, Vasilevskiy was drafted by Tampa Bay 19th overall in the first round of the 2012 draft. He joins Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov, Victor Hedman, Ryan McDonagh, Yanni Gourde and Tyler Johnson as Lightning players that are signed through at least the next five seasons.