Ummmmm, so yeah. There are plenty of reasons this deal makes sense but doesn’t it feel kind of a bizarre? It’s like a trade you’d see between two CPU controlled teams in your NHL 17 franchise mode.
The Los Angeles Kings need a shot in the offensive arm and Ben Bishop isn’t going to provide that. But with the Kings only 3 points out of the playoff picture, and having four games left to play against division rival Calgary Flames (with two in hand), there are plenty of different paths they can take to the post season. Bishop, a pending unrestricted free agent, makes for a fantastic insurance policy should Jonathan Quick’s groin decide to unexpectedly take some vacation time again. And with Peter Budaj starting to get a little leaky the timing was right to get Bishop.
As for the Tampa Bay Lightning, they aren’t mathematically out of the playoff picture but like an addict let’s admit there’s a problem here. There’s probably too much ground that needs to be made up for them to get back in it. And Tampa weren’t going to resign Bishop this summer so selling now makes a ton of sense. I just thought maybe they’d get a better return from a team that didn’t have a star goalie (cough, Dallas, cough…).
Ultimately this makes sense for both teams. Tampa Bay doesn’t go all Bruins-with-Loui-Eriksson in their pants and lose a player for nothing. And the Kings pad their crease a bit more with a guy who’s backstopped a team to a Stanley Cup Final.
It’s not the fireworks deal we crave at the NHL trade deadline but it’s a good start.
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