That’s certainly not a sure thing, but Lightning GM Steve Yzerman told reporters including ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun that he has had some conversations with goalie-hungry teams about possibly moving the big goalie.
Such an event could happen soon, too, since a 2016 first-round pick could be part of an attractive deal for Bishop.
The Tampa Bay Times’ Joe Smith passes along an especially interesting quote that puts Bishop on trade watch.
Well, isn’t that interesting.
The threat of losing a goalie to a Las Vegas expansion team isn’t the only reason to split up Bishop from Andrei Vasilevskiy. Bishop carries almost a $6 million cap hit that expires after 2016-17, so moving him could save money this summer and avoid a possible raise for his next contract.
Naturally, the downside is that Bishop has been a rock for the Lightning, serving as a Vezina finalist in 2013-14 and 2015-16. It’s true that Vasilevskiy boasts first-round pedigree and was impressive during the postseason, yet Bishop’s list of accomplishments keeps growing.
And, if anything, we’ve seen plenty of examples of teams benefiting from having two strong goalies in case one gets injured.
Cap realities and that expansion threat loom large for the Lightning, as Tampa Bay could face challenges even if Steven Stamkos leaves town. Victor Hedman is in line for a big raise, and that’s just the biggest harbinger of a costly future.
In other words, place Bishop high on the list of valuable players to watch in the trade rumor mill.