Ben Bishop has been traded to LA
The Tampa Bay Lightning have traded goaltender Ben Bishop and a 2017 fifth round pick to the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for goaltender Peter Budaj, Erik Cernak, a 2017 seventh round pick, and a conditional 2017 pick. Tampa Bay has retained some of Bishop’s salary.
Ben Bishop has a .911 save percentage and 2.55 goals against average this season, with 16 wins in 32 games played. He has played the last four seasons with the Tampa Bay Lightning, and was nominated for the Vezina trophy twice in that span as the league’s top goaltender, but failed to win enough votes either time.
Peter Budaj came out of the woodwork for the Los Angeles Kings this season as they lost starting goalie Jonathan Quick to an injury in the first game of the season which kept him out of the lineup a total of 59 games before returning this week. Budaj has performed beyond anyone’s expectations this season, posting a .917 save percentage along with a 2.12 goals against average and 7 shutouts, tied with Braden Holtby for the most in the league.
Erik Cernak is a 19-year-old Slovakian prospect who was drafted in the second round by the Kings in 2015. He is a right handed, 6’3” defenseman who currently plays for the Erie Otters of the OHL. He has recorded 3 goals and 14 assists for 17 total points in 40 games played for the Otters this season.
The Kings now have the unquestioned best goalie tandem in the NHL with Quick and Bishop and used Budaj’s unexpected stellar play to their advantage here. Bishop is now 30 years old and his almost $6 million contract is up after this season. LA is going for it now. The Lightning have officially confirmed that Andrei Vasilevskiy is their starter for the future. Budaj is 34 years old and is only paid $600,000 a year, which if he continues to play how he did with the Kings, he will be the best backup goalie the Lightning could ask for.