Kings acquire Bishop in trade with Lightning
LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Kings acquired goalie Ben Bishop from the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday in a trade including goalie Peter Budaj and an exchange of draft picks.
The Kings will pair Bishop with Jonathan Quick in a remarkable veteran goaltending tandem down the stretch of the regular season. Quick returned only Saturday from a 59game absence with a serious groin injury.
The Kings gave up Budaj, junior defenceman Erik Cernak, a 2017 seventh-round pick and another conditional pick. Los Angeles received Bishop and Tampa Bay’s 2017 fifth-round pick.
Both teams are scrapping to get into playoff position over the next six weeks. The Kings (30-27-4) are just outside the second wild-card berth in the Western Conference, while the Lightning (27-25-8) are seven points back of a playoff spot.
The deal was particularly surprising after Budaj’s unlikely success with the Kings this season. The veteran Slovak netminder filled in splendidly after Quick got hurt in the first period of Los Angeles’ season opener, going 27-20-3 with a 2.12 goals-against average and a .917 save percentage.
Budaj returned to a backup role Saturday while Quick led the Kings to a 4-1 victory over Anaheim. Los Angeles has a heavy schedule in March, and general manager Dean Lombardi might have been worried about the toll of heavy work on Quick’s health.
After a slow start to his NHL career in St. Louis and Ottawa, the six-foot-seven Bishop has been a solid National Hockey League goalie for the past four seasons in Tampa Bay. He backstopped the Lightning to the 2015 Stanley Cup Final, where they lost to Chicago.
But Bishop will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, while Andrei Vasilevskiy — widely thought to be the Lightning’s goalie of the future — is expected to be protected by Tampa Bay in the expansion draft.
Bishop is 16-12-3 with a 2.55 GAA and a .911 save percentage this season, while Vasilevskiy is 11-13-5 with a 2.81 GAA. Wild get Hanzal in deal with Coyotes A person with knowledge of the trade says the Minnesota Wild have acquired Czech centre Martin Hanzal from the Arizona Coyotes. The person spoke to The Associated Press Sunday on condition of anonymity because the deal had not been announced. Details on the return to Arizona were not immediately available.
Hanzal was considered one of the top rental players available ahead of Wednesday’s NHL trade deadline. The 30-year-old pending unrestricted free agent has 16 goals and 10 assists in 51 games this season and 313 points in 608 NHL games, all with the Coyotes. The move signals an aggressive approach from the Wild, who lead the Central Division and Western Conference by three points over the Chicago Blackhawks.
The Los Angeles Kings have acquired goaltender Ben Bishop in a trade with the Tampa Bay Lightning.