The Tampa Bay Lightning will try to trade goalie Ben Bishop or Andrei Vasilevskiy in the next year prior to the NHL expansion draft, general manager Steve Yzerman said Friday.
The NHL awarded a franchise to Las Vegas on Wednesday with the expansion draft to take place after next season. Each existing team would be allowed to protect one goaltender.
"I've said all along, we know there's going to be an expansion draft in a year. We feel with Vasilevskiy and Ben Bishop, if we left one of those two guys exposed in an expansion draft, we think one of them would get claimed," Yzerman told NBCSN at the 2016 NHL Draft. "So between now and next year's expansion draft, we'll look to move a goalie."
Bishop was a Vezina Trophy finalist this season; he was 35-21-4 with an NHL-leading 2.06 goal-against average and .926 save percentage, which was second to Brian Elliott (.930) of the St. Louis Blues.
Bishop helped Tampa Bay reach the Eastern Conference Final for a second straight year but sustained a lower-body injury in Game 1 and didn't play again. Vasilevskiy replaced him and helped Tampa Bay get to Game 7, when it lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins, who went on to win the Stanley Cup.
Bishop, 29, will play the final year of his contract next season.
"We have a great team down there, it's a great place to play and we've been winning and that makes everything a lot better," Bishop said Tuesday in Las Vegas prior to the 2016 NHL Awards. "I've enjoyed my time there and hopefully can enjoy it longer."
Vasilevskiy, 22 on July 25, was 11-10-0 with a 2.76 GAA and .910 save percentage this season. He has played 40 regular-season NHL games and 12 Stanley Cup Playoff games.