Blog Entry

Senators acquire G Ben Bishop from Blues

Posted on: February 26, 2012 11:46 am
Edited on: February 26, 2012 1:44 pm
Bishop has a .928 save percentage, 2.26 GAA this year for Peoria. (Getty Images)

By Brian Stubits

Days after it was announced Craig Anderson was going to be out an undetermined amount of time after slicing his finger while cooking, the Ottawa Senators went out and acquired goaltender Ben Bishop from the St. Louis Blues. Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun was the first to report the trade.

The pick heading to St. Louis for Bishop is Ottawa's second-rounder in the 2013 draft.

Bob McKenzie of TSN added that just after the deal was completed, Bishop signed a one-year contract extension with the Sens. He was scheduled to become a free agent after this season so this ensures the Senators will have him through next season at the least.

“I’m very excited," Bishop told the Sun. "I couldn’t be more happy, especially to a team lwith a great history and the fan support they have.”

Bishop, a highly regarded goaltending prospect, has been stuck in the AHL for the Blues this season with the play of Brian Elliott and Jaroslav Halak. He was an All-Star in his own right, representing the Peoria Rivermen in the AHL's extravaganza.

He had hoped before the season to win the backup job in St. Louis but it went to Elliott who has run with it. It led to Elliott receiving a contract extension earlier this season, leaving Bishop's future with the team as one of being in the AHL for some time.

He's the biggest goalie of today's big goalie trend in the NHL. The University of Maine product stands 6 feet 7 has been viewed as one of the better goaltending prospects in the game, he was just blocked in St. Louis.

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There figured to be a lot of teams interested in Bishop, most notably the Tampa Bay Lightning and possibly the Maple Leafs with their goaltending issues. Instead it's Ottawa that gets him and if nothing else, he will give the Sens a chance to rest Anderson a little more when they're both healthy.

I like the deal from both sides. The Blues were likely going to lose Bishop any way after this season, he was going to become an unrestricted free agent despite his age because of the lack of playing time. He was not likely to re-sign with the team if it meant staying in the AHL. So in that regard the Blues got something in return. Maybe they could have gotten a little more for Bishop, but all in all not bad.

For the Sens it means they didn't give up a whole lot to get a goalie they are probably hoping can carry them down the stretch this season. Potentially a lot more.

Where it leaves Robin Lehner, the Sens' top goalie prospect, is another matter. It was expected that next season is when Lehner was going to make the move to the NHL full time and take over Alex Auld's spot as the second goalie in Ottawa. But it's tough to argue that Bishop isn't a better prospect at the position. Lehner is now left in the same spot that Bishop was in in St. Louis, the third goalie blocked by others. A one-way deal for Bishop means that he isn't going to be in the AHL next season.

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Since: Nov 20, 2008
Posted on: February 26, 2012 2:42 pm

Senators acquire G Ben Bishop from Blues

Awesome deal for Sens. The 2nd is expensive obviously but wouldn't a team take Bishop with his expirience / youth if he was available at that pick anyway?.

Since: Sep 8, 2006
Posted on: February 26, 2012 2:22 pm

Senators acquire G Ben Bishop from Blues

The irony is that this move is necessitated indirectly by the Sens dumping of Elliott to get Anderson. If the hockey gods are on the Sens side, Bishop will wind up the best goalie in all of this, but with the way Elliott has been playing this year it hasn't been a promising start. Anderson has been good, but Elliott has been great and would be having a Vezina trophy season if the Blues weren't committed to Halak as their number one. Any other goalie with an average under 1.6 would be starting every game he felt like playing.

Since: Jun 4, 2011
Posted on: February 26, 2012 1:30 pm

Senators acquire G Ben Bishop from Blues

Like the article says, good deal for both teams. 

Blues get something for an asset that they were going to lose in off-season.

Senators get a top goalie prospect they can use now and in 2012-2013.  They have an asset they can flip in 2012-2013, unless he is a total flop and even then, they could probably get something for him, as some other GM will think they can turn him around in their system.  At best, they have a stud goaltender for the future.  Even if they end up with a middle of the pack goalie, that is a decent return on a 2nd round pick two drafts out.  Most scouting staffs would be happy if they were told their 2nd round pick was a middle of the road player for their career.   

Since: Jun 8, 2009
Posted on: February 26, 2012 12:45 pm

Senators acquire G Ben Bishop from Blues

Check that! The second rounder the Sens are giving up is in 2013?! This is a great deal irregardless of the rebuild. Period!! That 2nd rounder is bound to be much later than this year's would have been (the one that went to Phoenix).

GREAT deal Mr. Murray.

Since: Jun 8, 2009
Posted on: February 26, 2012 12:35 pm

Senators acquire G Ben Bishop from Blues

Giving up a 2nd is a tough pill to swallow during a re-build, but really, necessitated by Anderson's injury. So really it is the best possible deal for the Sens - Lehner gets at least one more season of seasoning in Bingo and the Sens get an NHL ready goaltender to back-up Anderson. Further, it makes Anderson expendable in the future should the tandem of Bishop/Lehner prove capable of carring the load. And with Anderson's contract not including any type of no-trade clause, he could very well get moved in a year's time to make room for just such a tandem.

What I really like most about the deal though are the reports that Brian Burke was sniffing around for Bishop - and once again Murray proves himself the superior GM!

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