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Ben Bishop signs two-year extension with Lightning

By Brian Stubits | CBSSports.com

Ben Bishop had a great first full season in Tampa. (Getty Images)
Ben Bishop had a great first full season in Tampa. (Getty Images)

Ben Bishop was only signed for one more season in Tampa Bay but on Saturday the team made it three as they inked the big goaltender to a two-year contract extension.

Bishop had far and away the best season of his young NHL career last season in Tampa Bay when he was finally given a chance to flourish and he did just that. Bishop had a tremendous start that had him in early talks as a Vezina Trophy front runner.

He slowed a little in the second half but was still as big of a reason (no pun intended) why the Lightning were able to comfortably stay in the playoff race despite losing Steven Stamkos for much of the season and then trading Martin St. Louis. Bishop was a finalist for the Vezina but the award went to Tuukka Rask in Boston.

Overall Bishop played 63 games with the Lightning in the regular season, finishing with a record of 37-14-7 to go with a .924 save percentage and 2.23 goals against average. He finally gave the Lightning stability in between the pipes that allowed the team in front of him to excel and start to reach their potential.

The new deal represents quite a raise for Bishop as he's going to move up the goalie cap hit ladder in this new deal, being paid like a true Vezina finalist.

It's a hefty price for a guy who does not have a long track record but at the term of just two seasons, it's definitely workable for Tampa Bay. The new contract won't kick in until the 2015-16 season as Bishop is signed for one more year in his previous contract.

Bishop was acquired from the Senators in a deadline trade in 2013 that sent Cory Conacher to Ottawa.

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