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NHL: Tampa Bay Lightning’s Andrei Vasilevskiy Voted Vezina Trophy Finalist

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NHL 2020-21 Vezina Trophy finalists. Image: National Hockey League.

NEW YORK (FNN SPORTS) – Source: NHL // Marc-Andre Fleury of the Vegas Golden Knights, Philipp Grubauer of the Colorado Avalanche and Andrei Vasilevskiy of the Tampa Bay Lightning are the three finalists for the 2020-21 Vezina Trophy, awarded “to the goaltender adjudged to be the best at his position,” the National Hockey League announced today.

 

NHL general managers submitted ballots for the Vezina Trophy at the conclusion of the regular season, with the top three vote-getters designated as finalists. The winners of the 2021 NHL Awards presented by Bridgestone will be revealed during the Stanley Cup Semifinals and Stanley Cup Final, with exact dates, format and times to be announced.

 

Following are the finalists for the Vezina Trophy, in alphabetical order:

 

Marc-Andre Fleury, Vegas Golden Knights

Fleury, who combined with Robin Lehner to capture the William M. Jennings Trophy as the goaltenders on the team that allowed the fewest goals during the regular season, ranked third in the NHL in wins (26), goals-against average (1.98), save percentage (.928) and shutouts (6) in 36 appearances. Fleury – who closed the season on a nine-game winning streak (April 11 – May 12: 1.43 GAA, .943 SV%, 2 SO) – climbed two spots into third place on the League’s all-time wins list (492), surpassing Ed Belfour (5th; 484) and Roberto Luongo (4th; 489). He also moved into a tie, with Roy Worters, for 14th place on the NHL’s all-time shutout list (67). The 36-year-old Sorel, Que., native – who yielded two or fewer goals in 25 of his 36 outings (69.4%) en route to posting the best goals-against average and save percentage of his 17-season NHL career – is a Vezina Trophy finalist for the first time. He is seeking to become the first player in Golden Knights history to win the award, following the four individual trophies the team claimed during its inaugural season in 2017-18.

 

Philipp Grubauer, Colorado Avalanche

Grubauer, another first-time finalist, shared the League lead with a career-high seven shutouts and ranked second in both wins (30) and goals-against average (1.95) – also personal bests – to help the Avalanche capture the Presidents’ Trophy for the third time in franchise history. He earned victories in 30 of his 40 total appearances (.750), the second-highest winning percentage among goaltenders with a minimum of five games played in 2020-21, behind only Jack Campbell (.773 in 22 GP w/ TOR). Grubauer – who also placed among the League leaders in starts (5th; 39), time on ice (5th; 2,366:52) and save percentage (8th; .922) – is the third netminder in Avalanche/Nordiques history who has been voted a Vezina Trophy finalist (following Patrick Roy: 2x and Semyon Varlamov) and is vying to become the franchise’s first player to win the award. The 29-year-old Rosenheim, Germany, native also is looking to become the second goaltender of German nationality to win the Vezina Trophy, after Olie Kolzig in 1999-00 (w/ WSH).

 

Andrei Vasilevskiy, Tampa Bay Lightning

Vasilevskiy topped the NHL with 31 victories, marking the fourth consecutive season he has led the League in wins (outright or tied) – a feat last achieved by Martin Brodeur from 2002-03 through 2006-07 (4x w/ NJD). That total was aided by a 12-game winning streak from Feb. 22 – March 23 (1.64 GAA, .938 SV%, 3 SO), tied for the seventh-longest such run in NHL history in addition to being both a career high and a franchise record. Vasilevskiy – who established and matched single-season personal bests for goals-against average and save percentage, respectively – also ranked among the top goaltenders in points (t-1st; 4), saves (2nd; 1,144), time on ice (2nd; 2,523:37), games played (t-3rd; 42), shutouts (4th; 5), save percentage (6th; .925) and goals-against average (8th; 2.21). The 26-year-old Tyumen, Russia, native – who won the Vezina Trophy in 2018-19 and finished third in voting in both 2017-18 and 2019-20 – is a finalist for the fourth straight year, a streak last accomplished by Brodeur from 2002-03 through 2007-08 (5x).

 

History

Leo Dandurand, Louis Letourneau and Joe Cattarinich, former owners of the Montreal Canadiens, presented the trophy to the NHL in 1926-27 in memory of Georges Vezina, the outstanding Canadiens goaltender who collapsed during an NHL game on Nov. 28, 1925, and died of tuberculosis a few months later. Before the 1981-82 season, the goaltender(s) of the team allowing the fewest number of goals during the regular season was awarded the Vezina Trophy.

 

Announcement Schedule

The three finalists for the 2021 NHL Awards presented by Bridgestone are being announced through Friday, June 11. The series of announcements continues Wednesday, June 2, when the three finalists for the Ted Lindsay Award will be unveiled.

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Lightning Sign D Mikhail Sergachev, F Anthony Cirelli and D Erik Cernak to Eight-Year Contract Extensions

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Photo: NHL.

TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed defenseman Mikhail Sergachev, forward Anthony Cirelli and defenseman Erik Cernak each to an eight-year contract extension, vice president and general manager Julien BriseBois announced today.

Sergachev, 24, has skated in 362 career regular season games, 358 of them with the Lightning, notching 36 goals and 174 points. He ranks fifth all-time in Tampa Bay franchise history among defensemen for goals and scoring and fourth for assists (138). The former ninth overall pick (of Montreal) in the 2016 NHL Draft has also played in 92 postseason games and posted eight goals and 30 points. He ranks second in Lightning history among defensemen for playoff games, goals, assists (22) and scoring. Sergachev’s eight-year contract is worth an AAV of $8.5 million.

Cirelli, 24, has skated in 294 career NHL games, all with the Lightning, recording 66 goals and 159 points. During the 2021-22 season, Cirelli posted 17-26—43 points in 76 games played, one point shy of his career high 16-28—44 pts. from the 2019-20 season. He led Tampa Bay forwards for blocked shots (67), ranked sixth in the NHL for penalties drawn (42) and finished fifth in Selke Trophy voting in 2021-22. In postseason play, Cirelli has notched 14 goals and 34 points in 92 games, ranking 11th all-time in Lightning playoff history for scoring. Cirelli’s eight-year contract is worth an AAV of $6.25 million.

Cernak, 25, has skated in 226 career NHL games, all with the Lightning, posting 16 goals, 59 points and a plus-51 rating. During the 2021-22 regular season, the Kosice, Slovakia native notched a goal and 13 points and led the Lightning for hits (165) in 55 games. Cernak has played in 73 career postseason games, recording two goals and 19 points. He netted the Stanley Cup-opening goal in Game 1 of the 2021 Cup Final versus Montreal, becoming the first Tampa Bay player to net his first career playoff goal in a Stanley Cup Final. A second round selection of the Los Angeles Kings (43rd overall) in the 2015 NHL Draft, Cernak was traded to the Lightning on February 26, 2017. Cernak’s eight-year contract is worth an AAV of $5.2 million.

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NHL: Lightning Re-Sign Forward Simon Ryfors to a One-Year, Two-Way Contract

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Simon Ryfors had two goals and an assist in the Lightning’s 5-2 win over Nashville in the opening game of the NHL Prospect Showcase Saturday afternoon at Amalie Arena. Photo: Dirk Shadd/Tampa Bay Times.

TAMPA BAY –The Tampa Bay Lightning have re-signed forward Simon Ryfors to a one-year, two-way contract, vice president and general manager Julien BriseBois announced.

Ryfors, 24, played in 72 games during the regular season for the Syracuse Crunch, Tampa Bay’s American Hockey League affiliate, posting 11 goals and 35 points, ranking tied for seventh on the Crunch for scoring. He also skated in five Calder Cup Playoff games with the Crunch and notched a goal, assist and a plus-four rating.

The Stockholm, Sweden native originally signed with the Lightning organization on May 12, 2021. Prior to that, he skated seven seasons with Rogle BK of the SHL, tallying 41 goals and 93 points to go along with 165 penalty minutes in 250 games. He set career bests in the SHL in 2020-21 for goals (25), assists (20) and points (45).

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Lightning Acquire F Brandon Hagel, Two 4th Round Picks from Chicago

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Forward Brandon Hagel. Photo: NHL.

TAMPA BAY, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) – Source: Tampa Bay Lightning // The Tampa Bay Lightning have acquired forward Brandon Hagel, Chicago’s fourth-round selection in 2022 and fourth-round pick in 2024 from the Blackhawks in exchange for forwards Taylor Raddysh and Boris Katchouk, Tampa’s first-round selection in 2023 and first-round selection in 2024, vice president and general manager Julien BriseBois announced today. Both first-round picks the Lightning are sending to Chicago are top 10 protected.

Hagel, 23, has played in 55 games so far this season for Chicago, recording 21 goals and 37 points. Hagel ranks second on the Blackhawks for goals and game-winning goals (3) and fourth for scoring and power-play goals (4). In 108 games with Chicago over three seasons, Hagel has posted 30 goals and 61 points. He made his NHL debut March 11, 2020 versus San Jose, the only game he played during the 2019-20 season. Hagel is under contract through the 2023-2024 season with a salary cap number of $1,500,000.

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