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February 5, 2017 | 11:48am ET
Will Bishop leave Tampa?

Ben Bishop has been an elite goaltender for years. A Vezina finalist last year, his lackluster season in Tampa this year continues to fuel trade rumors.

The 6-foot-7 goaltender will be an unrestricted free agent July 1, and his future with the Lightning is looking uncertain.

It might be in Lightning GM Steve Yzerman's best interest to look to trade him prior to the March 1 trade deadline for some assets instead of letting him walk for nothing this summer.

Bishop's battle with injuries has limited the amount of starts he has gotten this season and his .904 save percentage is less than impressive. Tampa Bay is establishing Andrei Vasilevskiy as their future in goal and Bish could be left high and dry.

The problem with goaltenders is that the market is very limited by the trade deadline. Sure, there are teams that might like the idea of Bishop -- Carolina needs a bonafide backup, Dallas needs a goaltending revival, the Blues could use some help in between the pipes -- but at the end of the day, Bishop has a no-movement clause and controls his fate.

"Obviously we have a great team, a great organization and great place to play," Bishop told the Tampa Bay Times on 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 was almost traded to the Calgary Flames last June, but the deal fell through after he and the Flames were unable to come to terms on a contract extension.


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