Bolts want to sign ’12 first-rounder Vasilevskiy, but KHL deal lingers


Interesting note here from the Tampa Bay Times about the future of Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy:

[Tampa Bay GM Steve] Yzerman wants to sign 2013’s [sic: 2012] 19th overall draft pick as soon as his contract with the KHL’s Ufa runs out Wednesday.

But Ufa apparently is dangling a deal that would lock up the goalie, one of Tampa Bay’s prized prospects, for another year.

Vasilevskiy, 19, 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 in the KHL 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 Kristers Gudlevskis up to become Ben Bishop’s full-time backup, and give Vasilevskiy the No. 1 gig in AHL Syracuse as a result.

Whether or not that’s enough to lure him away from Russia remains to be seen.