Ben Bishop has finally opened up about the trade speculation surrounding him all season.
The impending unrestricted free-agent goalie for the Tampa Bay Lightning told the Tampa Bay Times on Thursday that he’s open to a trade before the March 1 NHL trade deadline.
As you might expect, however, it wasn’t an outright demand. Rather, Bishop expressed his willingness to play more going up against his love for Tampa Bay.
"Obviously we have a great team, a great organization and great place to play," Bishop said Thursday. "Obviously the grass isn't always greener on the other side. You want to win where you are. You don't really think about next year, or anything but next game.
"But we'll see where it takes us. That's my feeling. But at the same time, I want to play, too."
Bishop, 30, has started only twice in the last 16 days as the Lightning have ceded more and more times to 22-year-old goalie of the future Andrei Vasilevskiy. Bishop’s numbers haven’t helped his cause either: His .904 save percentage and 2.83 goals-against average are a far cry from his Vezina Trophy-worthy numbers over the past three seasons. Last year, his 2.06 GAA was the best of his career.
Now he’s gone 11-12-3, which has made trading him more difficult. But as the market opens up as the deadline approaches, at least Bishop’s willingness to move on is on the record. If not, the Lightning will lose him either in free agency or the expansion draft this summer.