Tampa Bay Lightning Fans React To Ben Bishop Trade

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

Tampa Bay Lightning fans offer up their reactions to the Lightning’s first major move heading into the NHL Trade Deadline, Ben Bishop heading to the Los Angeles Kings.

A good majority of Tampa Bay Lightning fans have been rendered speechless today. It was readily apparent moves would need to be made in order for the Bolts to be cap compliant at the NHL Trade Deadline, but many fans hoped (and believed) this day would not come to pass.

As almost everyone here in the Bolts Nation knows by now, the Tampa Bay Lightning has officially traded Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop to the Los Angeles Kings (along with a 5th Round Draft Pick in the 2017 NHL Draft) in exchange for goaltender Peter Budaj, defenseman Erik Cernak, and 7th Round and a Conditional Pick in the 2017 NHL Draft.

There is an old saying which has been used for as long as we can remember when it comes to trades. “The logo on the front is always more important than the name and number on the back.” While this still holds very true, it doesn’t make the sting of losing one of your favorite players any less painful.

Tampa Bay Lightning
Tampa Bay Lightning /

Tampa Bay Lightning

The simple truth of the matter is, Ben Bishop is a huge part of the Tampa Bay Lightning’s success over the course of the last few seasons. If not for him, there is no telling how far the Lightning would’ve made it in the postseason, if at all. His natural ability between the pipes has consistently helped the Bolts cover up some of their offensive and defensive woes.

It was incredibly frustrating for most Lightning fans to sit back and watch as a two-time Vezina Finalist (who we still contend was robbed in his second nomination) was forced to sit by the wayside, despite having the hot hand for most of the season, for no reason other than to “split time” with the Lightning’s other goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy.

Honestly, it doesn’t look as if the situation has changed much for either team. The Tampa Bay Lightning has received a goaltender who is more than likely not going to be happy sitting on the sidelines and “splitting time” with Vasilevskiy, and Bishop is headed to a team who already has a number one in place, Jonathan Quick.

Other than receiving a minor league defenseman and two draft picks, not much has changed; other than the breaking of the hearts of many of the Tampa Bay Lightning’s fans.

After the news made its way around the internet, it didn’t take long for fans here in the Bolts Nation to make their ways to their various social media outlets like Twitter to express their feelings about the trade. Many here in the Bolts Nation are incredibly sad to see Bishop go, and have offered up their well-wishes for the goalie.





Of course, there are some hockey fans out there who feel Ben Bishop, who is set to be an Unrestricted Free Agent at the conclusion of the season, is merely making a pit stop in Los Angeles on his way to the Las Vegas Golden Knights.


On the other side of the ice, many Kings fans are not exactly excited their team has sent Peter Budaj, the man who has carried most of the load this season while Jonathan Quick has been injured, to another team in exchange for another netminder.

Both the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Los Angeles Kings are fighting for one of the coveted spots in the postseason in their respective Conferences. Unfortunately, as talented as Peter Budaj may be, this challenge got just a little more difficult for the Lightning.

Even if Budaj is as solid in net as his numbers would dictate, the team will have to make many adjustments as far as learning to play in front of someone entirely different.

Sure, this is all part of the job when it comes to being a professional athlete, but when faced with a Divisional opponent in the next game, which has two much-needed points on the line, is not exactly the time to start experimenting with something new.

As we have mentioned before, Monday night’s contest against the Ottawa Senators is going to be very telling about the playoff hopes of the Tampa Bay Lightning. If the Lightning can pull together and manage to pull out a win against a Divisional opponent like Ottawa, they still have a solid chance of succeeding in their mission.

Next: Lightning Acquire Stefan Fournier From Arizona Coyotes

In any case, we here at Bolts By The Bay want to offer our sincerest farewell to Ben Bishop as he transitions to a new Conference and a new home. No matter how far away you go, you’ll always be a Bolt to us. Thank you for all the wonderful memories and everything you’ve done for this community.