NHL Rumors: Several Teams Approach Kings About Goalie Ben Bishop’s Rights
Several teams are already lining up and asking the Los Angeles Kings about acquiring the rights to goaltender Ben Bishop. Teams are jockeying up for Bishop's services before he becomes an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
According to Pierre LeBrun of TSN, two teams have already inquired about getting Bishop's rights. Acquiring Bishop's rights will give a team two months to negotiate a deal before the netminder hits the market.
Goaltenders are in demand nowadays in the NHL with the Carolina Hurricanes acquiring Scott Darling's rights from the Chicago Blackhawks, according to James O'Brien of NBC Sports. Another target for teams is Marc-Andre Fleury, who has been performing well for the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The 30-year-old Bishop just finished the last season of a two-year, $11.9 million deal with a $5.95M average annual cap hit with the Kings. He could seek a long-term deal worth $7 million per season but his past injury woes may affect his value.
Due to his contract uncertainty and splitting playing time with Andrei Vasilevskiy, Bishop tallied just a .910 save percentage in 32 games with Tampa Bay Lightning before he was traded to the Kings at the deadline. Bishop fared no better with the Kings as his save percentage dropped to .900, while the Kings failed to clinch a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Eric Francis of Sportsnet reported that the Calgary Flames may chase Bishop in the offseason. The Flames were close to acquiring Bishop last June, but they opted for Brian Elliott, whose goal-against average rose to 3.89 in the postseason.
Last season, Bishop went 35-21-4 with a 2.06 goals-against average, a .926 save percentage and six shutouts and was a finalist for the Vezina Trophy last season. He was tied for fourth in the League in wins and tied for second in shutouts.
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