Tampa Bay Lightning G Ben Bishop Traded To Los Angeles Kings

Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

The Tampa Bay Lightning has made their first major move leading into the NHL Trade Deadline by trading goaltender Ben Bishop to the Los Angeles Kings.

Tampa Bay Lightning Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman has officially broken the  hearts of the Bolts Nation today. Lightning fans knew there were moves to be made heading into the 2017 NHL Trade Deadline, but Yzerman has made the move many fans have been dreading.

According to TSN’s Bob McKenzie, Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop has been traded to the Los Angeles Kings along with a 5th Round pick in the 2017 NHL Draft in exchange for goaltender Peter Budaj, defenseman Erik Cernak, and a 7th Round Pick and a Conditional Pick in the 2017 NHL Draft.

This is going to be one of those trades that split the Bolts Nation in half. Trades are definitely a part of the game, and as we have always said, the logo on the front is more important than the name on the back, but when a player has done so much for the team over the past few years, the sting of loss is very real.

Tampa Bay Lightning
Tampa Bay Lightning /

Tampa Bay Lightning

Despite struggling with being benched while having the hot hand, Ben Bishop has remained vigilant and helped the Lightning get to the place where they are right now. In the 32 games he played this season, Bishop has gone 16-12-3 with a Goals Allowed Average of 2.55 and a Save Percentage of .911.

It will be interesting to see where Bishop fits into the Kings goaltending strategy. As some fans know by now, the Kings have activated goaltender Jonathan Quick from Injured Reserve. Does this mean Bishop will go from leading the pack to playing backup for Quick? Unfortunately, only time will tell.

Los Angeles is in a very similar spot as the Lightning right now. They are in the midst of a tight battle in the Western Conference for one of their coveted playoff spots. A big part of their success this season has been Peter Budaj, who has been left to carry most of the load while Quick was injured.

Budaj has played in 53 games with the Kings this season. In this amount of time, Budaj has gone 27-20-3 with a Goals Allowed Average of 2.12 and a Save Percentage of .917.

On the other hand, Erik Cernak has yet to make his debut in the National Hockey League. Cernak has spent his time this season as a member of the Erie Otters of the Ontario Hockey League. He seems to be a pretty solid two-way defenseman, much like Victor Hedman and Anton Stralman.

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In the 41 games he’s played with the Otters this season, he has scored three goals and 14 assists for a total of 17 points. The Lightning is definitely in need of a strong two-way defenseman and it seems like he may be a good addition to the roster.

The only question we have is why Yzerman would make this kind of move when the Lightning are so close to earning a playoff spot. This almost seems like a bit of a shot in the foot to the team. Hopefully, this is one of those situations where we are wrong. Monday night’s encounter against the Ottawa Senators will be very telling.

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No matter how this story plays out for the Tampa Bay Lightning, we here at Bolts By The Bay would like to wish goaltender Ben Bishop all the very best as he makes the transition to the Western Conference and hopes he finds all the success in the world.