Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop was so sure he was going to be traded to the Calgary Flames, he was "in the process" of working on a new contract with the Flames, the Tampa Bay Times reported Friday.
The Flames instead traded for Brian Elliott of the St. Louis Blues on June 24.
"It looked like for a little bit it was going to happen," Bishop told the newspaper. "At kind of the last minute [the Flames] went out and got Elliott. It was close, but there was never. ... It wasn't that close, obviously."
Bishop is going into his fifth season with the Lightning, but it could be his last. He will be an unrestricted free agent in July, and there's also an expansion draft to stock the roster for the Las Vegas franchise that will start play in 2017-18. Teams can protect one goaltender, meaning the Lightning will have to choose between Bishop and Andrei Vasilevskiy. The Lightning signed Vasilevskiy to a three-year, $10.5 million contract extension on July 1.
"I have a job in Tampa Bay," Bishop said. "It's still my job. That's all I'm focusing on. If something happens, it happens. … You can look at it both ways. You try not to think about it, because then it … starts to make you upset."
Bishop was a finalist for the Vezina Trophy last season, going 35-21-4 with a 2.06 goals-against average, a .926 save percentage and six shutouts. He was tied for fourth in the League in wins and tied for second in shutouts (Corey Crawford, seven), and among goalies to play at least 20 games he led the League in GAA and was second in save percentage (Elliott, .930). His 115 wins and 16 shutouts are the most by a Lightning goaltender.