St. Louis Blues goalie Ben Bishop, left, deflects a shot as Colorado Avalanche's Daniel Winnik (34) looks on during the first period of a preseason NHL hockey game on Thursday, Sept. 29, 2011, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) By Jeff Roberson
St. Louis Blues goalie Ben Bishop, right, is congratulated by his teammates after finishing off the Columbus Blue Jackets in the shootout of an NHL hockey game, Monday, March 7, 2011 in St. Louis. The Blues won 5-4. (AP Photo/Tom Gannam) By Tom Gannam
St. Louis Blues goalie Ben Bishop (30) reacts after New York Islanders defenseman Andrew MacDonald scored during the second period of an NHL hockey game on Saturday, March 5, 2011, in Uniondale, N.Y. (AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek) By Kathy Kmonicek
(HockeyStL) -- The St. Louis Blues have traded rookie goaltender Ben Bishop to the Ottawa Senators in exchange for a 2013 second round draft pick. Bishop was drafted by the Blues in 2005 (85th overall) and has been developing in their minor league system since 2008.
This move by the Blues will finally put an end to the Ben Bishop speculation, which started as soon as the Blues re-signed Brian Elliott.
Bishop has spent the entire season with the Blues AHL affiliate team the Peoria Rivermen after losing the backup goaltending job to Brian Elliott in training camp. Neither Bishop nor Elliott distinguished themselves in training camp, but Bishop’s lack of NHL experience was ultimately the reason he lost the job.
Both Elliott and Bishop have excelled at their respective levels, but Elliott’s spectacular performance at the NHL level forced the Blues to offer him an extension. Elliott pounced on the opportunity, and as a result, blocked Bishop’s path to the NHL. Despite the setback, Bishop remained positive.
The 6’7”, 215 pound goaltender has posted an MVP caliber season in the AHL with his 24-14 record and .928 save percentage. Bishop also was named the MVP of the AHL All Star game earlier this season.
Due to his accomplishments, Bishop was drawing interest from other teams and the Blues knew that if the right deal came along, they would have to move him. Bishop was set to become a group six unrestricted free agent after this season, which forced the Blues to move him or risk losing him for nothing.
While GM Doug Armstrong’s first deadline deal did not surprise anyone, it remains to be seen if he will pull the trigger on any more deals before Monday’s 3 p.m. trade deadline. The Blues ownership quandary has handcuffed GM Doug Armstrong, so a major move is unlikely, but he may look to make a few small trades to bolster his NHL club, and add depth to the organization.
The NHL trade deadline is fast approaching and with the anticipation building around the league, Monday is sure to be an interesting day.