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NHL trade rumors 2017: Goalie market might be too empty for a Marc-Andre Fleury trade

The Ben Bishop trade bodes poorly for the Penguins.

Pittsburgh Penguins v Arizona Coyotes Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

When the Tampa Bay Lightning traded goalie Ben Bishop to the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday, it caught a lot of people off guard.

What about the Flames? What about the Stars? Bishop had been on the trade market all season, and the Kings rarely came up as a destination. Especially since Jonathan Quick returned on Saturday.

L.A. might be a great fit for Bishop, but Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman revealed why he settled for the Kings’ offer: there weren’t any others.

Yzerman said he had two choices: trade Bishop to L.A. for whatever they were willing to offer, or keep him for the rest of the season. And then lose him in free agency.

This is bad news for the Penguins if they want to trade Marc-Andre Fleury.

The way Yzerman puts it, it sounds like the Kings were the only team really interested in paying for a high-priced goalie. And the one they got is an unrestricted free agent. If the market was dry for that, it can’t be much better for Fleury and the two years left on his contract.

It also doesn’t help that two teams in obvious need of goalie help, the Dallas Stars and Winnipeg Jets, are sliding further out of the playoff picture. The Kings’ acquisition of Bishop could force the Flames to overpay in desperation for Fleury, but that’s likely the only way the market gets better.

And if the goalie market is as dead as Yzerman says it is, just days before the deadline, it’s hard to see the Penguins moving Fleury at all. That’s not a bad thing. GM Jim Rutherford seems to like depth in the playoffs just fine.