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Don't expect a rush to trade away Ben Bishop

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Perhaps I'm drawing the wrong conclusion, but I think Gudlevskis new deal highlights how Tampa Bay isn't in a hurry to deal Ben Bishop.

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The weight of a one year, two-way contract seems negligible, doesn't it? It's essentially a depth addition to the Tampa Bay Lightning organization with focus of play more than likely on that guy's time with the Syracuse Crunch of the AHL. A man who signs a one-year, two way deal is depth. He might be a fill-in on the Lightning roster in certain instances such as injuries or transactions that make a promotion to the NHL level a necessity.

Perhaps what to read in the Saturday contract signing of Kristers Gudlevskis is the fact he's signed as organizational depth -€” third man of crease duties -€” for the Lightning going toward the 2016-17 season. A man of depth despite the fact the chatter and innuendo tied to the Bolts right now suggest Ben Bishop's days with the franchise are shortening. The question of when an end point will be reached for the Bish-man is something for speculation going forward. Will things last until the end of the 2016-17 contract year? It's is a possibility, but chatter through June and especially July 1st (with the early contract-extension for Andrei Vasilevskiy) says trading Bishop to another franchise is how things will end.

Where the NHL stands at the moment in its summer transaction season is basically a hyped and sensationalized market of noise, where want dominates and need is dialed back because teams have gone into summer hibernation. Some signings have been made via want and some out of perceived need but where things stand for each club going forward is more and more lost in the haze of the summer. It's vacation season and the summer holidays! It's celebration time! It's understandable.

Kristers Gudlevskis signing a two-way contract sort of highlighted the potential for trade of Big Ben at the moment -€” dialed back grandly. It's not a race to move Bishop and it's not a contract-dump move that's possibly in store. He's an asset and a participating factor in the Tampa Bay Lightning lineup going into the 2016-17 season. I think it's pretty much underlined by way of Gudlevskis having a single-year, two-way contract in his hands now. It doesn't mean he can't be recalled or projected as the second netminder in Tampa Bay... it does mean it's not a rush-job to move Bishop. If the habit of GM Steve Yzerman holds, he's going to value the asset of Bishop to the value that Bishop indeed is.

It doesn't mean a move won't be made between now and the start of training camp, or the start of the NHL season. It seems wiser to go into the season at this point and show off Bishop as the asset he is and sell him for the market price that Yzerman sets. To sell him at this point in the year is to undervalue the netminder as well as complicate the trade by way of perceived value in a return, not a performing-value return in a player or prospect.

Basically, to cut this short, the deal for Kristers Gudlevskis is a short, minor league deal. It sets things up for next season as continuation of status-quo to one degree or another in the crease for the Lightning. If things were dead-set to change now with Ben Bishop, Saturday's deal for Gudlevskis wouldn't be a two-way deal with cost reduction for time to be spent with the Syracuse Crunch.