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Ben Bishop may be open to trade by Lightning: report

Goalie, in final year of contract, losing playing time to Andrei Vasilevskiy

NHL.com @NHL

Ben Bishop said Thursday he doesn't want to be traded by the Tampa Bay Lightning but might be open to it if it would mean increased playing time elsewhere.

Bishop, 30, who is in the final year of a two-year, $11.9 million contract, according to capfriendly.com, has started once in the past four games and has lost each of his past three starts.

"Obviously we have a great team, a great organization and great place to play," Bishop told the Tampa Bay Times. "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 the 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 is 11-12-3 with a 2.83 goals-against average and a .904 save percentage. Andrei Vasilevskiy, 22, is 11-12-3 with a 2.84 GAA, .909 save percentage and two shutouts.

Video: BOS@TBL: Bishop goes post-to-post to rob Krug

The Lightning are 10 points behind the second-place Ottawa Senators, who defeated Vasilevskiy 5-2 on Thursday, and eight points behind the Boston Bruins in the Atlantic Division and the Philadelphia Flyers for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference.

Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman said Wednesday he would be open to making a trade that could help the team in the future. The NHL Trade Deadline is March 1.

"And we're trying to win," Yzerman told the "Lightning Morning Skate Show." "If I could do something that helped our team make a trade that identified a need for us -- not just for this year, but going forward -- I would do that, and haven't been able to do that to this point, and that's been going on, really, since the [NHL Draft] last year."

Bishop, who has a limited no-move clause, has started at least 61 games in each of the past three seasons. A Vezina Trophy finalist in two of the past three seasons, he helped the Lightning reach the Stanley Cup Final in 2015 (lost to the Chicago Blackhawks in six games) and the Eastern Conference Final last season (lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins in seven games).

"You can't really do anything about it," Bishop said about the trade rumors. "When you get a chance to play, you try to play well and go from there. You can't really control things that are out of your hands. … We'll see."

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