Lightning extend G Ben Bishop for two years


In the midst of the chaos in the real world this afternoon, the Tampa Bay Lightning announced that they have signed goaltender Ben Bishop to a two-year extension. From the team's press release:

Bishop, 6-foot-7, 214 pounds, has played in six games with the Lightning after being acquired from theOttawa Senators at the April 3 trade deadline. He has posted a 2-3-0 record with a .916 save percentage and a 3.21 goals-against average. Bishop made his Bolts debut on April 4 at Carolina, stopping all 45 shots he faced for a shutout. He was the second goalie in franchise history to post a shutout in his Lightning debut (Dwayne Roloson, January 4, 2011) and tied the franchise record for most saves in a shutout (Daren Puppa, November 27, 1995). He has played in a total of 19 games this season with Tampa Bay and Ottawa, recording a 10-8-0 record with a .920 save percentage, 2.68 goals-against average and two shutouts.

A native of Denver, Colorado, Bishop has played in 42 career NHL games, compiling a 17-16-3 record and a 2.67 goals-against average with a .912 save percentage. He made his NHL debut during the 2008-09 season with the St. Louis Blues. Bishop made his Ottawa debut last season against the Lightning, a 7-3 win at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

Although the team has not released salary information, reports are that the contract is worth $4.6M over the two years, making the AAV $2.3M against the salary cap. That's about $500K more than Anders Lindback'scap hit. It's also about $1M more than Mathieu Garon's cap hit this season. And if you're in the mood for morecomparisons, Mike Smith's cap hit is $2M, Jimmy Howard's is $2.25M, and Corey Crawford's is $2.67M. (Howard, however, has recently signed a 6-year deal that will see him making $5.3M until 2019.)

It is expected that the Lightning will at least begin next season with Bishop and Lindback in tandem, though as always, that can change.

So, if you think that Bishop will be as good as Corey Crawford for the next two years, this contract is a good one. The Lightning were likely to have to increase spending on goaltending for next season, but now they've done so with--as I've said before--two very young and inexperienced goalies, neither of whom have a large body of work to draw on. For me, it's not a bad contract, and it's certainly not a long one, but I still have concerns about the stability of Lightning goaltending.

UPDATE: Damian Cristodero of the Tampa Bay Times just sent out the details of the deal:


In other news, let me take the opportunity to direct your attention to the American Red Cross's website and to let you know that although the Bruins-Senators game tonight has understandably been postponed, Stanley Cup of Chowder has opened a "Public Skate" open thread for all NHL games tonight, should you want to go an express your support for Bostonians.

Pray for peace.

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