What to do with Big Ben. The sexy idea that most are spouting is to trade the oft-injured giant for a second rounder and give phenom Andrei Vasilevskiy the net. This way you don’t lose Ben Bishop to another team for nothing. Certainly Vasy is ready to be the number one. (6-2, 2.24 GAA, .930 SV%) The Bolts could keep the cupboard full of top notch youngsters and use Bishop’s salary savings to sign a useful piece, like a second pair defenseman or use the cash to help ink their own pending free agents, Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat and Jonathan Drouin. The Bolts are injured…seriously injured. Besides the long-term absence of Steven Stamkos they are dealing with Jason Garrison and Jonathan Drouin being nicked up and Ryan Callahan hurting where he had hip surgery. Tampa Bay needs help and trading Bishop may provide a healthy body in return.
This group is still a Stanley Cup contender, especially with Stamkos returning for the playoffs. Having two elite goaltenders is something to use, not throw away.
Ben hasn’t been…well, Ben ( 8-9, 2.74 GAA, .910 SV%) so far this season. The return for a goalie moving towards free agency is low and GM Steve Yzerman could care less about a second or third round return.
So, despite the common narrative, Yzerman will wait and see if a good deal for the Lightning is out there as we get closer to the playoffs. In the meantime the Bolts will enjoy the luxury of playing in front of two elite netminders who will lead the way to the playoffs..
(Feature Photo/Christine Gunn)