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Lightning sign Bishop to two-year extension




Lightning goalie Ben Bishop says anyone would love a long-term deal, especially coming off a season in which he was a Vezina Trophy finalist as the league's top goalie.

But Bishop, 27, was more than happy to receive a two-year, $11.9 extension Saturday, which with a no-trade clause will keep him in Tampa Bay through the 2016-17 season. Bishop, in his first full season as a No. 1 goalie, went 37-14-7 with a 2.23 goals against average, with coach Jon Cooper saying he was the main reason the Lightning made its turnaround and reached the playoffs.

"I had one really good year this year - I think I've still got to prove myself," Bishop said. "I want to be consistent year in and year out. I don't want to be a one-hit wonder. I want to be even better this year. I thought it was a fair deal on both sides."

Bishop, who had one year and $2.3 million left on his current deal, said it was important to get an agreement done this summer so it's not "hanging over my head" during the season. The security is key, especially considering Bishop is coming off right wrist surgery and his season ended in April with a disclocated left elbow.

But Bishop, who had the screws in his wrist removed Tuesday, plans to return to the ice this week, joking to see if he "remembers how to skate." He plans to be ready for training camp in mid-September.

"That's the goal," Bishop said. "I'm not going to say I will be, but I'm pretty confident."

Bishop could have potentially got more if he reached unrestricted free agency next summer, but appreciated the opportunity Tampa Bay has given him since acquiring him from Ottawa in 2013. He likes the direction of the organization, and this gives them a few years to feel each other out. Plus, for the Lightning, it allows prospects Andrei Vasilevskiy and Kristers Gudlevskis some more time to develop.

"There's a lot of good things going on here," Bishop said. "And I'm really excited."

Developing: The Lightning has signed goaltender Ben Bishop to a two-year, $11.9 million contract extension.

Bishop is coming off a breakout season in which he claimed the No. 1 job and became a Vezina Trophy finalist as one of the league's top goaltenders. Coach Jon Cooper said Bishop was the main reason Tampa Bay made it's turnaround and reached the playoffs. Bishop's season ended before the playoffs due to a dislocated elbow, and he underwent wrist surgery in the offseason, but is expected to be ready for training camp.

Bishop had one year left on his current deal, so this contract will keep him with the Lightning through the 2016-17 season. The extension also includes a no-trade/no movement clause. It has a $5.95 million annual cap hit.

By signing Bishop, the Lightning gives touted goalie prospect Andrei Vasilevskiy some more time to develop.

[Last modified: Saturday, August 2, 2014 8:22pm]


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