Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Ben Bishop stays put with Lightning but Stamkos' status grows shakier

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Goalie Ben Bishop is still with the Lightning, at least for now, his chances of starting the season in Tampa Bay seeming to increase after not getting dealt during Friday's first round of the NHL draft.

But captain Steven Stamkos might have taken one step closer to leaving.

Calgary had targeted Bishop in a potential trade, but Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman said he didn't come close to dealing the two-time Vezina Trophy finalist.

The Flames ended up trading for Blues goalie Brian Elliott, giving up the 35th overall pick Friday and a conditional third rounder next year. The Flames were given permission to discuss a potential contract with Bishop's camp, TSN's Bob McKenzie reported, but those talks were never initiated.

However, there likely will be many talks initiated starting today with Stamkos, who at midnight Friday reached the five-day interview window, where interested teams can court him. He'll be an unrestricted free agent — he now has a full no-move clause — July 1.

There will be no shortage of suitors, notably the Red Wings, who created significant cap space by dealing the contract of Pavel Datsyuk, GM Ken Holland saying they're targeting an impact forward in free agency to replace him.

"Well, obviously we've got the flexibility now to do what we want to do," Holland said. "We'll see."

Yzerman maintained he hasn't closed any doors on signing the 26-year-old Stamkos, or ruled anything out, but he didn't seem optimistic when asked if he still felt like Tampa Bay had a shot, even with Stamkos talking to other teams.

"I'd prefer not to share how I feel," he said, smiling.

The Lightning has reportedly offered Stamkos an extension with an annual average of $8.5 million, likely short of what other teams will offer. Asked if he has made his final offer to Stamkos, Yzerman said, "I haven't given you anything up until now, I'm going to keep it that way."

Another option, if the Lightning knows it can't sign Stamkos, would be to do a sign-and-trade deal, as Tampa Bay is the only team that can give the All-Star an eight-year deal. Yzerman said he has "never given that a thought," likely because he's focused on signing Stamkos, but he added, "maybe I should think about it."

"Losing (Stamkos) for nothing or losing him for an asset, I'd love to get an asset," Yzerman said.

The same goes for Bishop, 29. Yzerman knows that with an expansion draft looming next summer before a new Las Vegas team enters the league, he'd likely lose either Bishop or Andrei Vasilevskiy, 21. Bishop, who has one year left on his deal at $5.95 million, could get dealt this summer or before next season's trade deadline, but the Flames getting Elliott took one big potential suitor off the market.

Calgary snagged Elliott — who, like Bishop, has one year left on his deal — for likely less than Bishop would have commanded. Some wondered if a potential offer for Bishop would have included the sixth overall pick, which Calgary used to draft wing Matt Tkachuk. Elliott's return was similar to what the Ducks got from the Leafs for Frederik Andersen (30th overall pick this season and a second-round pick next season).

Yzerman is prepared to deal a goalie, if it makes sense, but it just didn't on Friday.

"I would prefer to get an asset than lose one of these guys," Yzerman said. "I think I will lose one in expansion."

Whether Yzerman has lost Stamkos remains to be seen.

Contact Joe Smith at joesmith@tampabay.com. Follow @TBTimes_JSmith.

Ben Bishop stays put with Lightning but Stamkos' status grows shakier 06/24/16 [Last modified: Saturday, June 25, 2016 12:29am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Buccaneers defense was among NFL's best when its pressure got to the QB

    Bucs

    It doesn't matter how many times they've thrown a football. It doesn't matter how many seasons they've played. It doesn't matter whether they have a degree from Harvard or Central Florida.

    Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy recorded 6.5 sacks last season, but many of his other contributions didn't show up in the box scores. [ANDRES LEIVA   |   Times]

  2. Rays DFA Danny Farquhar to make room for Brad Boxberger

    Blogs

    The Rays continued shuffling their bullpen, dumping RHP Danny Farquhar after Wednesday's game to make room for RHP Brad Boxberger to be activated off the DL.

    Farquhar, who worked an inning in Wednesday's 6-2 loss, had a 2-2, 4.11 record for 37 appearances, working primarily in lower leverage situations. In …

  3. USF to face Indiana in men's basketball next season

    College

    The USF men's basketball team will get an early test from a Big Ten powerhouse next season.

  4. Rays employee helps save suicidal woman near Pirates stadium

    Blogs

    A Rays front-office employee joined umpire John Tumpane in saving a woman threatening to jump from a bridge near PNC Park on Wednesday afternoon in Pittsburgh.

    Multimedia production manager Mike Weinman, 32, was walking across the Roberto Clemente Bridge with Rays broadcasting director Larry McCabe when he …

  5. Blake Snell struggles in return as Rays fall to Pirates

    The Heater

    PITTSBURGH

    Blake Snell talked a good game ahead of his return to the Rays rotation Wednesday night, but he didn't pitch one.

    The Pirates’ David Freese scores on a Blake Snell wild pitch during the first inning against the Rays.