Saturday, January 20, 2018
Tampa Bay Lightning

Lightning goalie Ben Bishop gets two-year, $11.9M extension

Lightning goalie Ben Bishop says he 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 happy for a two-year, $11.9 million 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. Coach Jon Cooper said he was the main reason the Lightning made 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 deal, said it was important to get an agreement so it's not "hanging over my head" during the season. Bishop is coming off right wrist surgery and his season ended in April with a dislocated left elbow.

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

Bishop may have gotten more if he reached unrestricted free agency next summer, but said he likes the organization's direction. Plus, for the Lightning, it allows prospects Andrei Vasilevskiy and Kristers Gudlev­skis more time to develop.

Said general manager Steve Yzerman: "It's good for everyone."

Note: G Adam Wilcox, Tampa Bay's sixth-round pick in 2011, told the Lightning he plans to return to the University of Minnesota this season, and could be a free agent Aug. 15, 2015.

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