It wasn’t that long ago that Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman was pursuing goalie after goalie, hoping that one of the promising, but largely inexperienced netminders he got would be capable of running away with the starting gig.
Enter Ben Bishop, who had some impressive AHL campaigns to his name and was solid with limited playing time in Ottawa. Yzerman gave up Cory Conacher, who was having a great rookie campaign, and a fourth rounder in April 2013 to get him and he’s proven to be a steal at that price.
The 27-year-old goaltender made his mark on the Lightning history books last night when he posted a 23-save shutout over the New Jersey Devils, earning his franchise record breaking 31st victory of the season.
“It’s special,” Bishop told NHL.com. “It’s something I don’t really stop and think about right now; maybe at the end of the season. We’ve got some games left, so hopefully I can add to that. It’s a team thing; the guys in front of me, I wouldn’t be here without them.”
There’s no doubt that wins are a team stat, but Bishop earned this record. He’s been one of the best goaltenders this season and has helped keep Tampa Bay afloat through Steven Stamkos’ recovery from a broken tibia.
The shutout was his fifth of the season, which puts him in a three-way tie for second place among the franchise’s top single-season performances. Nikolai Khabibulin holds the record with seven.
Derek Roy has finally found work — but it’s not in the NHL.
Roy, who spent the entire preseason in Washington’s camp on a PTO, has signed with SC Bern of Switzerland’s National League A, the club announced on Friday.
The news comes after Roy narrowly missed out on making the Caps roster, and just one year after he had something of a bounce-back campaign in Edmonton, scoring 22 points in 46 games while developing chemistry with young winger Nail Yakupov.
A 12-year NHL veteran, Roy is one of the more prominent names to be squeezed out of work this season, and head overseas. The 31-year-old has scored over 500 points in 738 career contests, and has twice represented Canada at the World Hockey Championships.
With Bern, Roy will play on one of Switzerland’s stronger teams, alongside a trio of ex-NHLers: Chuck Kobasew, Andrew Ebbett and Cory Conacher.
Robin Lehner might not be back anytime soon.
Making his debut with the Buffalo Sabres, the 24-year-old goaltender couldn’t complete Thursday’s game against his former squad, the Ottawa Senators, due to what has now been revealed to be a right leg injury.
When he left the arena, he was wearing a walking boot on that nearly went up to his knee.
“It doesn’t look like it’s short term,” Sabres coach Dan Bylsma told the Buffalo News. “It’s more than day-to-day at this point, but we need to evaluate further.”
It’s a rocky start to what’s an important campaign for Lehner. He has been given an opportunity to demonstrate that he’s ready to be a starting goaltender after being acquired by the Sabres over the summer, but it looks like that will have to be postponed.
While he’s sidelined, Chad Johnson is likely to be leaned on heavily.