Bishop signs two-year extension with Lightning

Saturday, 08.02.2014 / 10:35 PM

Goaltender Ben Bishop has signed a two-year contract extension with the Tampa Bay Lightning, the team announced Saturday.

Financial terms were not disclosed, but it is worth $5.95 million per season, according to Pierre LeBrun of

Bishop could have become an unrestricted free agent in July 2015 but is now signed through the 2016-17 NHL season.

"I didn't want to head into training camp and then maybe play half a season [without having a new contract] in the back of my mind, because as much as you like to say that it's not a distraction, it usually is," Bishop told The Tampa Tribune. "So it was nice to get this over with, I think it's a fair deal for both sides, and I'm really excited to be a part of this organization for another three years."

A third-round pick (No. 85) of the St. Louis Blues in the 2005 NHL Draft, Bishop emerged as a No. 1 goaltender with the Lightning last season, establishing career bests with 37 wins, 63 appearances, five shutouts, a 2.23 goals-against average and .924 save percentage. He was named a finalist for the Vezina Trophy as the NHL's top goaltender.

"I had one really good year this year; I think I've still got to prove myself," Bishop told the Tampa Bay Times. "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."

Bishop, who turns 28 in November, sustained a dislocated left elbow late in the season and missed the Eastern Conference First Round series against the Montreal Canadiens, who won in a sweep.

The Tribune reports Bishop had surgery in May to repair ligament damage in his right wrist and had a screw removed from the wrist Tuesday. He will begin his next round of rehabilitation Monday, which includes getting back on skates.

"I have most of my range of motion back, but now it's just getting that strength back," Bishop told the newspaper. "But there is still some rehab left, the elbow feels good, and I'm just excited to try it out. ... I'm really excited for training camp."

The Lightning acquired Bishop from the Ottawa Senators on April 3, 2013 in a trade for forward Cory Conacher and a fourth-round draft pick. In 108 games with the Blues, Senators and Lightning, Bishop is 55-31-11 with eight shutouts, a 2.40 goals-against average and .920 save percentage.

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