Tampa Bay Lightning 2025-26: Age is just a number
- Guaranteed under-contract forwards: Kucherov, Point, Cirelli, Paul
- Guaranteed under-contract defensemen: Sergachev, Cernak
- Confidence Meter: Losing steam
One of the massive risks the Tampa Bay Lightning took by signing Vasilevskiy to an eight-year deal that runs through 2028 at $9,500,000 per year is that if he isn’t among the top five goalies in the league, it’s a contract that becomes a massive liability.
Just look at Florida and its contract with Sergei Bobrovsky. When he is on and is putting the team on his back like he is during this playoff run, he is worth every penny.
When he has a .901 save percentage, as he did during the regular season and was only 35th in the NHL in that category among goalies with at least 20 starts, it can cripple a team.
The concern for Vasilevskiy heading into 2025-26 is that he will be 31 years old. Of the 17 goalies that started at least 50 games in 2022-23, only three were older than 30.
In addition, the only goalie in the league this past season that made at least 20 starts, had a .915 save percentage or better, and was at least 30 years old was Scott Wedgewood of Dallas.
This doesn’t even include the fact that Hedman will need a new deal in 2025.
There will still be enough offensive firepower to get this team to the playoffs, but will there be enough goaltending to power through the entire way?