In January, the St. Louis Blues awarded 26-year-old goaltender Brian Elliot with a two-year contract extension. More than five weeks after the ink dried, the club decided to trade away their 3rd string goaltender as they sent Ben Bishop to the Ottawa Senators in exchange for a 2012 second round pick. Following the trade, the Senators general manager, Bryan Murray, came to a 1-year agreement (1-way contract) with Bishop for the 2012-2013 season for $650k.
Bishop, the 85th overall pick in the 2005 NHL draft, will head to Ottawa in hopes of seeing immediate playing time as the Senators starter, Craig Anderson, is on injured reserve with a hand laceration. Posting a 24-14-0 record with a 2.26 GAA while with the Peoria Rivermen, Bishop will figure in the Blues long term plans by possibly taking the reigns of the backup role next season since current backup, Alex Auld, will be an unrestricted free agent. The Senators also have 20-year old Robin Lehner on the roster should they need an additional goaltender. Since Anderson was injured, the Senators weren’t able to notch a victory as they fell to the Boston Bruins on February 25th. And with important games against the Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks this week, finding another depth goaltender was in the Senators best interest.
For St. Louis, Bishop wasn’t able to see playing time. Not only do the Blues have Elliot and Jaroslav Halak locked up for the next two seasons, but both net minders have been playing extremely well. Halak has posted an 18-10-5 record with a 1.96 GAA (.924 SV%). Elliot has been even better with a 20-7-2 record with a 1.65 GAA (.937 SV%). Barring an injury, Bishop was not in the Blues long-term plans. Jake Allen will most likely fill the depth spot Bishop left behind.