Ottawa Senators goaltender Ben Bishop was rumored to be on the block today thanks to the impending return of starter Craig Anderson. Bishop's outstanding play this season (8-5-0 with a .922 SV% and a 2.45 GAA) has really inflated his trade value well over what the Senators had to give up to the Blues last year to get him.
This is going to hurt for Blues fans, as Bishop got the Blues a second rounder last year. This year? He's earned the Senators Cory Conacher and a fourth-round pick. Conacher, you might recall, is often mentioned in the Calder Trophy contest. So far in his rookie season the forward has nine goals and 15 assists, which is exactly what Ottawa needs right now considering their top scorers are getting hurt quite a bit.
Tampa Bay gets the quality goaltending that they need as well. The trade benefits both teams, so why is Tampa Bay GM Steve Yzerman getting heat for this trade? Easy -- Conacher is one of the league's top rookies. Of course he's going to get heat. What needs to be looked at is that the Bolts don't need him. They have a powerful offense with or without him; their goaltending stunk regardless. Anders Lindback is still on the IR, and they needed someone to step in and at least help them get some points in a very weak Southeast Division.
The trade isn't what Yzerman needs to be scolded for. What he needs to be scolded for is getting the Lightning in the position of having to make the trade in the first place. The Bolts' lack of emphasis on goaltending and over-reliance on offense has been a massive mistake and now the franchise's biggest asset had to be sacrificed to right the ship.
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