There is some incredibly good news coming out of Hockey Paradise today. Tampa Bay Lightning Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman has announced via the Lightning’s Official Site that the organization has come to terms with Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop on a two-year extension of his contract.
This new extension is in addition to the year that Bishop had remaining on his current contract, so when all is said and done we will have three more seasons of Ben Bishop here in the Bolts Nation.
Bishop’s new deal is worth a reported $5.95 million per season for a total of $11.9 million.
I don’t think anyone here in the Bolts Nation can accurately put into words just how much this means for those of us here in Tampa Bay.
The one thing that has been plaguing the Lightning for many years has been our goaltending situation; however, that all came to a screeching halt when Yzerman initiated a trade with the Ottawa Senators that saw rookie forward Cory Conacher head to Ottawa in exchange for Bishop.
While I will be the first to admit that when I first heard about this trade, I had serious doubts about Yzerman’s sanity. I mean, who in their right mind would trade away one of the best rookie forwards we had in our arsenal? Thankfully, I was 100% wrong, and this turned out to be one of the best trades that the Lightning has ever made.
This is no knock on Conacher, although I am still pretty miffed about the run that he took at Anders Lindback but that is another story for another day.
Last season, Bishop suited up and defended the net for 63 games. Despite his multiple injuries during the season, he maintained a 37-14-7 record with a Goals Allowed Average of 2.23 and a Save Percentage of .924. Throughout a majority of the season, he found himself amount the Top 3 goaltenders in the league in both Save Percentage and GAA.
Next season is going to be a new challenge for the Lightning. As you know, there have been a lot of changes made to the Lightning roster this season. One of those changes was the player who will be serving as a backup to Bishop next season, goaltender Evgeni Nabokov.
The prospect of having a healthy Bishop with a backup goaltender that can take some of the pressure off of him during the regular season is very exciting. This could be one of the key components to bringing Lord Stanley’s Cup back here to Hockey Paradise to work on his tan.
What are your thoughts on Ben Bishop’s new deal with the Tampa Bay Lightning? What are you most looking forward to in the new season? Let us know what you think in the comments below.