Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Ben Bishop had been on an absolute tear and was a huge reason why the Bolts find themselves in the Eastern Conference Finals. That all changed in a moment when Bishop had to be stretchered off the ice with an apparent left leg injury. 21-year-old Andrei Vasilevskiy will now be forced to step in.
With the proposed Expansion Draft rules allowing for teams to only protect one goalie, any news involving solid goalies is significant to Las Vegas.
Bishop has one year left on his contract which will leave him as an unrestricted free agent heading into the 2017-18 season, the expected inaugural season in Vegas.
With Vasilevskiy on the roster and the Expansion Draft looming it’s possible the Bolts could simply let Bishop walk. But based on Bishop’s play throughout the season and in the playoffs it is likely the Lightning would prefer to re-sign him at the end of this year in order to keep him from hitting the free market the following season.
Now with Bishop sidelined, Tampa Bay, and maybe more importantly, the rest of the NHL will have an opportunity to take a look at Vasilevskiy in the most pressure packed games hockey has to offer.