Monday, February 6, 2017

NHL trade outlook: goalies Bishop, Halak can be shopped by teams


   One of the aspects of being a solid NHL team is having an outstanding goaltender and an okay backup goalie. 2 teams, the New York Islanders and the Tampa Bay Lightning have goalies to deal to teams with that need.
   The Isles had 3 goalies coming into this season in Thomas Greiss, Jaroslav Halak and JF Berube. Management issues and poor play cost Halak a roster spot, and was sent to Bridgeport (AHL.) Since that and the firing of head coach Jack Capuano, Greiss has gone off, and has a 2.35 GAA, and a .924 SV% this season. Berube slid into a backup role, but a bad game against Carolina Saturday might change that, but the chances are slim. The Isles should deal Halak, who is currently playing outstanding for Bridgeport.
    Ben Bishop has led the Lightning the past few seasons as their starting goalie, but that could be coming to an end. Bishop is in the last year of his contract, and will become a UFA on July 1st. 22 year old Andrei Vasilevskiy has been Bishop's backup all his career, but is taking over this season. Vasilevskiy has 29 games this year, opposed to Bishop's 28. Their numbers are similar, with Vasilevskiy having a 2.84 GAA, against Bishop's 2.79. Bishop has a .904 SV%, and Vasilevskiy has a .909 SV%. The Lightning will probably go with the younger goalie, and the one who's signed longer, as Vasilevskiy is signed to 3 more years. Here are some potential destinations for Bishop and Halak.
       1. St. Louis Blues. The Blues haven't had a real no. 1 guy, and the rotation between Jake Allen and Carter Hutton cost head coach Ken Hitchcock his job. They can acquire Bishop, who was a former St. Louis draft pick. They can deal Hutton and other pieces, or just wait and sign him in the offseason. If I was GM Doug Armstrong, I would trade for Bishop's rights on draft day.
       2. Dallas Stars. Another team that should be interested in Bishop, the Stars have a putrid goalie rotation of Kari Lehtonen and Antti Niemi. They should trade Niemi, to dump off his contract of $4.50 million over the next 2 years, including this year.
        3. Edmonton Oilers. They are looking for someone to backup starter Cam Talbot. That's where Halak comes in. There was rumors of RW Jordan Eberle going to Brooklyn, if D Travis Hamonic was included. These teams could work out a blockbuster.
    

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