The Tampa Bay Lightning answered one of their biggest lingering questions on Saturday, signing goalie Ben Bishop to a two-year contract extension. The financial details haven’t been made official, but ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun reports that it’s worth $11.9 million overall (or $5.95 million per season).
In other words, it’s a lot like the contract Sergei Bobrovsky received from Columbus after he won the 2013 Vezina Trophy. Bishop gets paid as an essentially elite goalie, yet that limited term also means he needs to “prove it” to gain greater security.
The 27-year-old netminder has one year remaining on a deal that carries a $2.3 million cap hit, so this extension keeps the large goalie under contract through the 2016-17 campaign.
Bishop enjoyed a breakthrough 2013-14 season, generating a sterling 37-14-7 record while notching a strong .924 save percentage to go with five shutouts. His injury-related absence was glaring during the 2014 postseason; Anders Lindback struggled mightily as the Montreal Canadiens dispatched the Bolts in four games.
Even so, Bishop’s resume is pretty skinny; the American goalie only has 108 games of NHL experience and never played in more than 22 games before the 2013-14 campaign.
This gives the Lightning plenty of time to evaluate their goaltending situation, which could get quite interesting if 2012 first-rounder (19th overall) Andrei Vasilevskiy ends up justifying the hype. Tampa Bay invested in experienced backup Evgeni Nabokov during this offseason, yet the big-picture No. 1 battle is expected to eventually come down to Bishop vs. Vasilevskiy (with apologies to Kristers Gudlevskis).
By agreeing to this “bridge deal,” the Lightning won’t need to rush such a decision, even if they’re paying a premium in the short term.
Through six games of the NHL season, Travis Konecny enjoyed a nice start to his rookie campaign with five assists. Just one thing was missing, though.
On Tuesday, he took care of that against the Buffalo Sabres.
Konecny, taken 24th overall in the 2015 NHL Draft, deflected an Ivan Provorov point shot early in the third period, beating goalie Anders Nilsson on the glove side for his first NHL goal. That goal also got the Flyers on the board.
Konecny and Provorov make Flyers, expected ‘to be here all year’
California rivals clash tonight, as the Anaheim Ducks visit the San Jose Sharks. This marks the first meeting of the season between the two Pacific Division teams.
The Sharks have lost two games in a row, while the Ducks have won two straight.
You can catch tonight’s game on NBCSN or with the NBC Sports’ Live Extra (10 p.m. ET).
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Here are some links to check out for tonight’s game:
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Report: Ducks put Despres on long-term injured reserve
NHL on NBCSN doubleheader: Sabres vs. Flyers; Ducks vs. Sharks
Difficult night for some goalies across the NHL.
Frederik Andersen has had his struggles against Steven Stamkos and the Tampa Bay Lightning, although the players in front of him haven’t given their puck stopper much help, either.
And then there is Bolts goalie Ben Bishop, who took a Peter Holland wrist shot off the mask and appeared to lose some teeth as a result.
But this is hockey. Bishop, who even appeared to crack a smile while being examined on the ice, remained in the game.
Claude Giroux was called for boarding after plastering Zemgus Girgensons from behind into the boards in the second period. But the Buffalo Sabres made the Philadelphia Flyers and their captain pay.
Giroux was assessed only a minor penalty on the play. He promptly exited the penalty box, though, after Matt Moulson scored six seconds into the Sabres power play, giving Buffalo a two-goal lead.
Girgensons and Moulson scored less than two minutes apart to give Buffalo the lead.