Lightning lock up Vasilevskiy — what now for Bishop?


Another big signing in Tampa Bay, and this one could have consequences.

The Lightning have locked up 21-year-old Andrei Vasilevskiy to a three-year contract extension worth $3.5-million per season. The deal doesn’t start until 2017-18, so he’s Tampa Bay property through 2019-20.

Vasilevskiy went 11-10-0 with a .910 save percentage last season. Not the greatest numbers, but he’s been touted as the Lightning’s goalie of the future since they drafted him 19th overall in 2012. And for the record, he was solid in this year’s playoffs (.925 SV% in eight appearances) when Ben Bishop got hurt.

Speaking of Bishop, the Lightning can officially explore trading the 29-year-old. Not because they want to, but because Bishop can become an unrestricted free agent next summer and cap space is going to be an issue for GM Steve Yzerman.

This week alone the Lightning have signed both Steven Stamkos and Victor Hedman to giant extensions.

Still unsigned for next season: restricted free agents Nikita Kucherov, Alex Killorn and Vladislav Namestnikov.

Those that will need a new contract before 2017-18: Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat, Jonathan Drouin, and Bishop.