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Kings land Ben Bishop in big trade with Lightning

L.A. has insurance to cover a Jonathan Quick injury.

Tampa Bay Lightning v Los Angeles Kings Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Andrei Vasilevskiy is now the goaltender of Tampa Bay’s future, as the Lightning have traded netminder Ben Bishop to the Los Angeles Kings.

Heading back to Tampa Bay are goalie Peter Budaj, prospect Erik Cernak, and draft picks.

The Lightning are receiving are a seventh-rounder and a conditional pick for 2017. The Kings are also getting Tampa’s fifth-round pick in 2017.

Bishop is an unrestricted free agent this summer. The trade was first confirmed by TSN insider Bob McKenzie.

Bishop was the second-biggest goaltender name on the market after veteran Marc-Andre Fleury. Rumors of Bishop being on the block have circulated all season, especially considering the Lightning had been grooming Vasilevskiy to take over for the last few seasons.

Speculation came to a halt, however, when Bishop was injured in December and missed three weeks. Things started to slow even before then, as both Bishop and Vasilevskiy were having bad beginnings to the season. Both have rebounded a bit since then, which has paved the way for this trade.

Also paving the way for his destination in L.A. is the injury that kept Jonathan Quick out for four months. Quick returned with a 32-save win on Saturday, but there’s the chance his groin injury flares up again. If they even make the playoffs, which is a question right now because the Flames and Predators are playing very well ahead of them in the wild card race.

Cernak is a defenseman drafted by Los Angeles in the second round of the 2015 NHL Draft. Tampa is in need of a right-handed blue liner, and Cernak could fill that role someday. Budaj stepped in as starter during Quick’s absence, going 27-20-3.