Goalies have been quite the hot topic leading up to the 2013 NHL trade deadline. As such, goalie Ben Bishop is the latest name connected with league-wide speculation, as he appears to be headed for a new franchise before Wednesday's 3 p.m. ET deadline.
The Ottawa Senators have traded Bishop to the Tampa Bay Lightning, concluding Tampa Bay's trade deadline search for backstop help. TSN's Bob McKenzie first reported the news on Twitter:
Ben Bishop has been told he's been traded from OTT to TB. #tradecentre— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) April 3, 2013
Bishop, the NHL's tallest goalie at 6'7", played in 13 regular-season games for the Senators this season (8-5-0 record). The 26-year-old boasts a .922 save percentage in net this season, and has won four of his last five starts—including a 24-save shutout of the New York Rangers on March 28.
According to Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun, center Cory Conacher and a fourth-round pick will be headed to Ottawa as part of the deal:
The Senators got Conacher and 4th for Ben Bishop. #TRADETRACKER— Bruce Garrioch (@SunGarrioch) April 3, 2013
Conacher, the prolific AHL scorer just starting to make his mark in the NHL, played in 35 games this season for Tampa Bay, scoring nine goals and racking up 24 total points. After a strong start to the 2012-13 season, Conacher slumped enough to where the Lightning felt he was expendable to address their goalie needs.
Which team won this deal?
If you'll remember, this isn't the first time Tampa Bay has been in on Bishop at the trade deadline.
As reported by Damian Cristodero of the Tampa Bay Times in March 2012, the Lightning were one of the final teams interested in Bishop before he was traded to the Senators from the St. Louis Blues at the 2012 trade deadline.
On Wednesday, Tampa Bay finally acted on its interest in the young goaltender.
Bishop will help bolster the Tampa Bay net after the injury to No. 1 keeper Anders Lindback (as reported by Cam Tucker of Pro Hockey Talk) forced the star goalie out of the lineup indefinitely. Mathieu Garon is currently handling goalie duties, but that could change upon Bishop's arrival.
Tampa Bay has been plagued by injuries all season, and currently is near the bottom of the Eastern Conference playoff picture. Ottawa, holding on to the No. 6 spot in the East, made the tough choice to part with depth at the goalie position in favor of scoring with the playoffs looming.