By signing a “bridge” deal – albeit a golden gate of a bridge at almost $12 million over two years – Ben Bishop shows that he’s willing to prove to the Tampa Bay Lightning (and the rest of the NHL) that his breakthrough season wasn’t just a fluke. He told the Tampa Bay Times as much on Saturday.
“I had one really good year this year – I think I’ve still got to prove myself,” Bishop said. “I want to be consistent year in and year out. I don’t want to be a one-hit wonder. I want to be even better this year. I thought it was a fair deal on both sides.”
Really, the biggest question is which recording artist gets the one-hit wonder reference? Let’s go with “No one wants to be the goaltending Rico Sauve.”
It’s easy to dismiss the 27-year-old’s breakthrough 2013-14 campaign as a fluke, especially since his previous career-high for games played in a season was 22. Still, his career save percentage (.920) falls in line with his outstanding .924 mark from last season, so if nothing else, he’s at least taken advantage of his opportunities.
The real question might be whether or not he can recover from the injury issues that derailed the end of his outstanding season. He didn’t exactly guarantee that would happen.
“That’s the goal,” Bishop told the Tampa Bay Times about being ready by September. “I’m not going to say I will be, but I’m pretty confident.”
Now that he’s locked in with Tampa Bay through the 2016-17, Bishop doesn’t have to feel pressured into jumping back into action too soon. Even so, he seems eager to prove that he’s no Right Said Fred.