After much discussion, Tampa Bay has finally agreed to terms on an entry-level deal with goalie Andrei Vasilevskii, the 19th overall pick at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.
Vasilevskii, 19, was targeted for an NHL deal by Tampa Bay GM Steve Yzerman shortly after the Bolts were eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs, but reports suggested the Russian netminder could remain in the KHL rather than head to North America next season, where he’s likely to be playing with AHL Syracuse.
Vasilevskii is considered to be one of the better young goaltending prospects on the planet. He went 14-8-5 with a .923 save percentage and 2.21 GAA for KHL club Salavat Yulaev Ufa this season, and appeared in 14 Gagarin Cup playoff games before getting bounced in the Eastern Conference finals by Metallurg.
Assuming Anders Lindback has played his last game in Tampa — and given how badly things went for the pending RFA in the playoffs, that is likely — it’s possible the Bolts could bump Latvian Olympic hero Kristers Gudlevskis up to become Ben Bishop’s full-time backup, and give Vasilevskiy the No. 1 gig in Syracuse as a result.
(Please note that, according to the Lightning, Vasilevskii’s surname will be spelled with two i’s, rather than they previous “iy” ending.)
It’s been getting that spotlight since the Columbus Blue Jackets faced off against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a brisk playoff series, though it wouldn’t be surprising if the bad blood stemmed to Dubinsky’s days with New York.
To some, Dubinsky’s cross-check on Crosby will resonate far more than the end result of this game:
The bottom line is that he’ll get the last laugh, at least for now. (In-game, that moment merely drew a minor penalty.)
That’s because Dubinsky set up the overtime game-winner, and the cherry on the top of that spite sundae came with Crosby being on the ice when it happened:
They’re not just rubbing the Penguins the wrong way.
Cheap shot on a superstar, a little uncalled goalie interference and presto – Blue Jackets win!
The Buffalo Sabres probably deserved better during at least some chunks of their six-game skid, yet Jack Eichel swooped in on Friday to remind fans that there’s a light shining at the end of the tunnel.
You can watch his goal from tonight’s eventual 4-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes in the video above.
That’s not necessarily the absolute height of his on-ice magic, yet it clearly gave his team a lift:
Coach Bylsma: Feel like after Jack's goal, the game changed for us. #gamechanger