With Anders Lindback having a disappointing first season with the Tampa Bay Lighting, the team has decided to add some competition in goal, acquiring Ben Bishop from the Ottawa Senators in exchange for Cory Conacher and the Lighting’s fourth-round pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.
Bishop was drafted in the third round (85th overall) by the St. Louis Blues in 2005, but even though he appeared to be ready for the NHL, the Blues didn’t have room for him, only playing 13 NHL games before he was traded to Ottawa last year. Bishop, a 26-year-old native of Denver, Colorado who stands at 6’7″, 205 lbs, has shown what he’s capable of in his time in Ottawa. In 10 games last year, he was 3-3-2 with a 2.48 goals against average and .909 save percentage, and in 13 games this year has been very impressive, going 8-5-0 with a .922 save percentage and 2.45 goals against average. Bishop is a very talented young goalie and a good pickup for a Lightning team that has struggled to find consistency in goal for a long time. The team had acquired a young goalie in Lindback last year but he has disappointed, and also drafted a very talented young goalie in Andrei Vasilievski, but no one knows when he’ll be ready. Bishop gives the Lightning a good goalie now, as well as an option for the future, as suddenly the Lightning has a lot of talented young goalies to push each other. Bishop will be a restricted free agent after this season when his one-year contract worth $650,000 expires. Because of Craig Anderson and Robin Lehner, Bishop was expandable in Ottawa.
However, the price of acquiring Bishop was not cheap. The Senators acquire Conacher in this deal, a 23-year-old left-handed shooting left wing from Burlington, Ontario who stands at 5’8″, 175 lbs, and has had a very impressive rookie season this year, putting up nine goals and 15 assists to go along with 16 penalty minutes and a minus-3 rating in 35 games. Conacher had been a nice surprise for Tampa Bay, considering he wasn’t even drafted. Of course, they also acquired that draft pick in this deal.