Ben Bishop thinks he was close to being traded to Flames

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The Calgary Flames did well to improve in net by trading for Brian Elliott, but it sounds like they almost ended up acquiring a different former St. Louis Blues goalie.

Tampa Bay Lightning goalie (for now?) Ben Bishop told the Tampa Bay Times’ Joe Smith that he believes he nearly found his way to Calgary during this off-season.

“It looked like for a little bit it was going to happen,” Bishop said. “At kind of the last minute (the Flames) went out and got Elliott. It was close, but there was never … It wasn’t that close, obviously.”

Then again, Bishop told Smith that it went far enough for contract negotiations to take place with the Flames, so it probably shouldn’t be dismissed outright.

Now, for all we know, this story might be filed under “to be continued.”

Yes, the Flames traded for Elliott … but both Bishop and Elliott are in the final years of their current contracts. For all we know, the Lightning and Flames could revisit this subject during 2016-17, or even afterward.

One interesting thing to note is that Bishop isn’t that much younger than Elliott. Bishop is 29 and will turn 30 on Nov. 21. Elliott is 31 and will turn 32 on April 9, 2017.

(Bishop’s age sneaks up on you a bit since he didn’t really get a chance to prove himself until 2012-13 if not 2013-14.)

Much like Elliott, it seems like Bishop might get pushed out from his current situation despite some strong work on his own part.

It wouldn’t be that crazy if he ended up as the Flames’ go-to guy once this game of goaltending musical chair ends.

More on Bishop’s future

Examining his situation

The case for the Lightning letting him play out his deal