Bob McKenzie was on Vancouver’s TSN 1040 on Tuesday morning.
On how the hot rumor this morning is that Tampa Bay is offering up Ben Bishop via trade:
“Let me take you back, and I can only suspect the genesis of all of this. Last night I was doing on Twitter sort of a chat about the draft, and I was asked some questions about teams and NHL moves, and things like that.
“So somebody asked me about what will Calgary do now that they didn’t get Freddie Andersen, they were after Freddie Andersen from Anaheim. The Leafs got him and signed him. What’s their next move. And I said obviously they need a goaltender. They have talked, or they will talk, to the Tampa Bay Lightning about Ben Bishop. That was it. That’s all I said. The same as they’ve talked to Pittsburgh about Marc-Andre Fleury.
“Is it possible the Tampa Bay Lightning could trade netminder Ben Bishop? Yeah, absolutely it’s possible. I would have told you that during the Stanley Cup playoffs. They’ve got a cap crunch coming in Tampa, with or without Stamkos. Ben Bishop is a year away from unrestricted free agency. They’ve got a tremendous goaltender, a young goaltender in Vasilevskiy, who played very well in the playoffs. They’d be foolish not to explore their options. That’s not a news story. That’s not a flash.
“Now apparently some dim bulb in Tampa has started to say that ‘there’s reports out of Canada that Calgary has a deal in place for Ben Bishop,’ which, if they do, it’s news to me. I certainly didn’t say that, and I’m not aware of anybody else who did either.
“But I do believe the Tampa Bay Lightning will listen on Ben Bishop, and may well be in a position at some point to trade him. Maybe not. Maybe they’ll go in a different direction. But it’s certainly one of a number of options they’d consider. Just like Pittsburgh would consider a Marc-Andre Fleury trade, and a lot of teams are going to be looking at goaltender trades, especially with an expansion draft coming up.
“Now, the other thing on the expansion draft – because Bishop’s contract will expire next year, and the timing of the expansion draft, he would not have to be protected anyways, for purposes of an expansion draft, as I understand it. And subject to being corrected, because all of these rules aren’t carved in stone yet. We haven’t seen them. But my understanding, the last I heard, was that a guy like Bishop, if he was on the Tampa Bay Lightning roster a year from now, he would not have to be protected because he’d be considered an unrestricted free agent for purposes of the expansion draft, so they could protect Vasilevskiy.
“So they have flexibility on that end, but they don’t have any financial flexibility right now at all because they’ve got so many players to sign both this year and next year, and not a lot of cap room to do it. Obviously Stamkos plays a part in that right now.”
Source: TSN 1040/ Transcript: Nichols