Ben Bishop Getty

Looking for goaltending? Give St. Louis a call


Chris Johnston of the Canadian Press has profiled one of the more unheralded and intriguing developments of this hockey season — the play of St. Louis Blues third-string goalie Ben Bishop.

Bishop, 25, has been outstanding for AHL Peoria this year (23-13-0, .929 save percentage, 2.25 GAA, six shutouts) and was recently named MVP of the league’s All-Star Game.

Oh, and did we mention he’s 6-foot-7?

“I’ve always been one of the tallest,” Bishop said. “I never had to really go through one of those stages where I had to adjust to my body, where I grew five inches in one summer. I’ve always been one of the taller ones and I think that’s part of the reason I wasn’t uncoordinated or anything like that.”

Bishop has NHL experience — he played six games in 2008-09, then another seven last season — and was expected to back up Jaroslav Halak this season, only lose the job in training camp to Brian Elliot. You know how the story goes from there: Elliott caught on fire and made the All-Star Game, Halak rebounded to post brilliant numbers, the Blues signed Elliott to a two-year extension and suddenly, Bishop was the odd man out.

“I expected to be in the NHL (this season),” said Bishop. “I thought I came off a good year last year. … I had a good training camp and I still think I should have been the one that was chosen, but obviously they went with Elliott and he’s run with it. You’ve got to give him credit.”

With several teams in need of a young goaltending prospect — here’s looking at you, Tampa Bay, Columbus and New Jersey — Bishop could be an affordable, cost-effective solution compared to the likes of Cory Schneider and Jonathan Bernier.

Bishop says he’d welcome a deal at the deadline but knows he’ll likely get some attention this summer, when he’s set to become a UFA.

“I think I know where I’m at, I think the Blues know where I’m at and I think 29 other (NHL) teams know where I’m at,” Bishop said Thursday in an interview. “If something happens, something happens. If not, I go into the off-season and become an unrestricted free agent and go on from there.”

Jason Demers tweets #FreeTorres, gets mocked

Los Angeles Kings v San Jose Sharks - Game One

Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.

We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.

It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”

Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)

Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.

So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”

… You get the idea.

The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.

The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.

Bruins list Chara on IR, for now

Zdeno Chara

Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.

It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.

The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.

As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.

Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?

The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.

This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.