Lightning ink McElhinney to back up Vasilevskiy

The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed former Carolina Hurricanes goalie Curtis McElhinney to back up Andrei Vasilevskiy.

McElhinney gets a two-year deal with an annual average value of $1.3 million.

After the signing of Scott Darling in 2017 did not solve the Hurricanes' void in goal, the team was left scrambling last year. Carolina signed former Detroit Red Wings netminder Petr Mrazek in July 2018 and then claimed McElhinney off waivers in October.

The 26-year-old Mrazek and 36-year-old McElhinney formed a solid duo, and the Hurricanes not only made it into the playoffs but also beat the defending champ Washington Capitals in the first round. Carolina then swept the New York Islanders before losing in the conference finals to the Boston Bruins.

McElhinney, who had been a career backup, started a career-high 33 games and went 20-11-2 with a 2.58 goals-against average and .912 save percentage. He improved on those numbers in his five playoff games, with a 2.01 GAA and .930 save percentage.

After the season, Hurricanes general manager Don Waddell said he didn't expect Carolina to be able to re-sign either goaltender.

McElhinney is coming off a two-year, $1.7 million contract he signed with Toronto.