Tampa Bay Lightning Send Cory Conacher to Ottawa for Ben Bishop, Help in Net

Eric Steitz@esteitz16Analyst IIIApril 3, 2013

The Lightning acquired Ben Bishop from the Ottawa Senators hours before the trade deadline.
The Lightning acquired Ben Bishop from the Ottawa Senators hours before the trade deadline.Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Lightning made a big move to improve their goaltending situation by trading for Ben Bishop of the Ottawa Senators just hours before the 3 p.m. EST, April 3 trade deadline.

First reported by TSN’s Bob McKenzie, Bishop was told he was traded to the Lightning, but full details have not been released yet. Bishop is 8-5-0 with a 2.45 goals-against average for the Senators. He has seen the majority of his playing time due to injury to Craig Anderson.

The Lightning paid a steep price for Bishop, sending the team's fourth-highest scorer, rookie Cory Conacher (24 points) and a fourth-round draft pick to Ottawa. His 24 points are second most among rookies—behind Jonathan Huberdeau of the Florida Panthers (25).

Conacher is handling the situation like a seasoned professional despite being in his first NHL season.


That makes the Lightning’s goaltending situation interesting. Mathieu Garon is the No. 1 goaltender currently—due to injury to Anders Lindback—but Garon’s 5-8-1 record isn’t great. Lindback is 10-7-1 this season, but has a 2.88 GAA and has really struggled in his first season as a full-time goaltender.

If age is a factor, Tampa Bay didn't make things simpler. Lindback is 24 years old, while Garon is 35. Bishop is 26 years old. In the American Hockey League, the Lightning have Cedrick Desjardins, 27, and Riku Helenius, 25.

New head coach Jon Cooper is going to have an interesting decision ahead of him. Bishop deserves a shot at being a No. 1 goaltender. But, with less than a month of season left is this the time to throw him between the pipes?

The reaction around twitter has been polarizing: