Potential landing spots for Ben Bishop

At some point the Tampa Bay Lightning will have to trade a key player to get out from under their crippling cap situation. With several key RFAs and UFAs needing new contracts, the Bolts may have no choice but to do something drastic. Most believe Ben Bishop is the prime candidate, and there should be several serious contenders. Here are a few possibilities:

Philadelphia Flyers
The Flyers enter the season with two goalies sharing the net, which hasn't often shown to be a Cup winning strategy. With Steve Mason and Michal Neuvirth both playing well in stretches, neither is likely to take a stranglehold over the Flyers crease. Both are pending UFAs, and if the team wants to go in a different direction they could be a contender for Bishop as early as the trade deadline.

Carolina Hurricanes
The 'Canes expect to challenge for a playoff spot this season, but they will only be able to go as far as Cam Ward and Eddie Lack take them. If things go south, Bishop might make sense for a team that hasn't had elite goaltending for quite some time. Remember, the Hurricanes considered a Frederik Andersen trade last season, hinting at some dissatisfaction with their netminders.

Dallas Stars
The Stars are rumoured to have expressed interest in Bishop this summer, but with two big contract goalies on their roster already, this isn't an easy deal to make. Antti Niemi+ for Ben Bishop might sound like a decent strategy, but that would result in the Stars having 12 million dollars dedicated to goaltending this season. And it doesn't change the fact that Lehtonen is under contract for next season. A Bishop for Lehtonen deal doesn't make much sense either, especially for the Lightning who are trying to reduce salary. If the Stars are truly interested in Bishop, they're going to have to get creative.

Other longshot possibilities

- The Sabres enter the season with Robin Lehner as their number one. Lehner remains unproven as a starter, even though he has the talent to be one. Will GM Tim Murray's patience run out?

- The Islanders goalie situation is a bit of a mess with Jaro Halak and Thomas Greiss battling and JF Berube lurking in the background. This team needs to start winning in the playoffs, and Bishop could help. Another difficult trade to make that would require Tampa taking a goalie back.

- I don't know how the Coyotes would pull this trade off, but I wouldn't put it past them. Mike Smith and Louis Domingue are nothing special as a goalie tandem.

- Ryan Miller is entering his final year in Vancouver, and Jakob Markstrom is considered the heir apparent (at least until Thatcher Demko is ready). But what if the Canucks management feels they need someone a little more proven? Bishop could cover up for a lot of the team's deficiencies.

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