Tampa Bay Lightning Trade Rumor: Dallas Stars Courting Ben Bishop

Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

The latest rumor circulating the airwaves is the Dallas Stars are aggressively pursuing Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop.

Tampa Bay Lightning fans breathed a sigh of relief when the Calgary Flames took the stage at the First Niagara Center in Buffalo and announced their selection in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft. As most of you know by now, there were credible rumors circulating around that Calgary was aggressive pursuing one of two goaltenders, one of which was Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop.

Eventually, Calgary did trade for their goaltender, but it was St. Louis Blues goaltender Brian Elliott in lieu of Ben Bishop. Unfortunately for Lightning fans, Big Ben isn’t exactly free and clear just yet. It seems there is another team with their sights set on Ben Bishop. The difference is, this trade would be slightly more complicated.

According to Sportsnet Hockey Night In Canada host Nick Kypreos reports he’s heard chatter on the Draft Floor that the Dallas Stars were wheeling and dealing in an effort to get their hands on Ben Bishop. What makes this deal a little more complicated and quite different is that Dallas would need to give the Lightning a goaltender in return to make things work out well for them.

As you can imagine, this is kind of counterproductive to what Tampa Bay Lightning Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman is hoping to achieve by shopping Bishop in the first place. When the NHL Expansion Draft comes to pass, the Lightning can only protect one netminder. This means either Bishop or Andrei Vasilevskiy would end up leaving the team.

We have absolutely no issue with Andrei Vasilevskiy or his skills, but we simply are not sure he is ready to take the reins from Bishop and be responsible for 60+ games next season. At least for the time being, Ben Bishop is the Tampa Bay Lightning’s best chance of making a repeat performance in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

It’s hard to ignore where Yzerman is coming from at this point. A decision will have to be made sooner rather than later. We’re just not 100 percent sold this is the time or the situation for a deal like this to go down.

The other thing Dallas would have to consider is the simple fact that Bishop becomes an Unrestricted Free Agent at the conclusion of the 2016-17 season. If the Stars were to dig deep for Bishop only to have him walk away next season would be nothing short of bad business for the Dallas Stars.

Of course, our position on the matter may have a lot to do with the fact we are slightly biased when it comes to Ben Bishop. The good news is, we aren’t alone in this matter. As teams continue to make their selections, the bigger picture will soon come into clearer view.

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We don’t know about you, but we’re sitting on the edge of our seats. The Tampa Bay Lightning are a mere nine players away from being called. The Dallas Stars are just two picks before the Lightning. If anything is going to happen, it will surely have to happen soon.