Kings ac­quire Bishop in trade with Light­ning

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS -

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 CANA­DIAN PRESS FILE PHOTO

The Los An­ge­les Kings have ac­quired goal­tender Ben Bishop in a trade with the Tampa Bay Light­ning.

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