Famously, Ben Bishop came to Tampa Bay in April of 2013, traded from Ottawa for Cory Conacher, hopping into the lineup for the last nine games of the 2012-2013 season. Steven Stamkos was already a five-season veteran of the team by the time Bishop arrived, and had seen a total of 17 different goaltenders rotate their way through the lineup.
In Stamkos’s time in Tampa he played second-most-often in front of Mike Smith. In descending order of games played, he was also backstopped by Dwayne Roloson, Andrei Vasilevskiy, Mathieu Garon, Antero Niittymaki, Anders Lindback, Dan Ellis, and Kari Ramo, to name the top few.
But out of all of these goalies, Stamkos has played the most in front of Bishop. From 2013 until now, Bishop has played 257 games with the Bolts, 221 in the regular season and 36 post season. Out of these games, Bishop played 193 total regular-season and playoff games with Stamkos.
Stamkos relies on Bishop the way that every player relies on a goalie who’s taken him deep into the playoffs, twice. At the start of the 2015-2016 season, when the team was held into games by the sheer effort of Bishop's play, Stamkos lauded him by saying, "He's been our rock."
And in return, Bishop admires Stamkos as the team captain and franchise player that he is. Before the World Cup of Hockey in 2016, he said to ESPN:
It's exciting [that Stamkos re-signed with the Bolts]. He's worked his butt off ever since he got to Tampa. He's been the face of that franchise since he got there and he's rode through some of the tough times, and he's been through some of the high times. He's our captain and I'm really glad that they were able to get something worked out. He's able to come back and hopefully be able to maybe retire a Lightning. He's done a lot for that organization and it's nice to see him stick with it.
Here are some moments in which they’ve interacted in the past few years.
Bishop assisted Stamkos’s goals:
They each explained why they like living in Tampa:
They both showed off their love of baseball by taking batting practice with the Tampa Bay Rays:
And they both combined in this playoff round against Montreal to make Brandon Prust’s life just a little worse:
But the best chemistry has always been on the ice. Ah, the memories: