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Looking for goaltending? Give St. Louis a call

Feb 16, 2012, 6:00 PM EDT

Ben Bishop Getty

Chris Johnston of the Canadian Press has profiled one of the more unheralded and intriguing developments of this hockey season — the play of St. Louis Blues third-string goalie Ben Bishop.

Bishop, 25, has been outstanding for AHL Peoria this year (23-13-0, .929 save percentage, 2.25 GAA, six shutouts) and was recently named MVP of the league’s All-Star Game.

Oh, and did we mention he’s 6-foot-7?

“I’ve always been one of the tallest,” Bishop said. “I never had to really go through one of those stages where I had to adjust to my body, where I grew five inches in one summer. I’ve always been one of the taller ones and I think that’s part of the reason I wasn’t uncoordinated or anything like that.”

Bishop has NHL experience — he played six games in 2008-09, then another seven last season — and was expected to back up Jaroslav Halak this season, only lose the job in training camp to Brian Elliot. You know how the story goes from there: Elliott caught on fire and made the All-Star Game, Halak rebounded to post brilliant numbers, the Blues signed Elliott to a two-year extension and suddenly, Bishop was the odd man out.

“I expected to be in the NHL (this season),” said Bishop. “I thought I came off a good year last year. … I had a good training camp and I still think I should have been the one that was chosen, but obviously they went with Elliott and he’s run with it. You’ve got to give him credit.”

With several teams in need of a young goaltending prospect — here’s looking at you, Tampa Bay, Columbus and New Jersey — Bishop could be an affordable, cost-effective solution compared to the likes of Cory Schneider and Jonathan Bernier.

Bishop says he’d welcome a deal at the deadline but knows he’ll likely get some attention this summer, when he’s set to become a UFA.

“I think I know where I’m at, I think the Blues know where I’m at and I think 29 other (NHL) teams know where I’m at,” Bishop said Thursday in an interview. “If something happens, something happens. If not, I go into the off-season and become an unrestricted free agent and go on from there.”

  1. bcisleman - Feb 16, 2012 at 6:18 PM

    IDK why STL isnt mentioned as a possible destination for Nash. They have 2 star goalies and a blue chip prospect plus Jaden Schwartz…AND they are one of the best teams in the NHL this year with serious scoring issues.

    • danphipps01 - Feb 16, 2012 at 6:54 PM

      I think they’re more often mentioned in the Parise talk, but when I think about it, I’m not really sure precisely why. You could argue they lack a true top-fight setup centre for a needy guy like him. Parise’s not only a capable sniper but a capable playmaker. And further, he’s one of NJ’s bigtime PK guys. Hitch likes two-way play from his forwards and I bet a guy like Parise with his playmaking ability would help improve the numbers of guys like Backes and so forth even further.

      Or maybe we’re just giving too much attention to New York because Howson and his scouts have been camped out in their backyard all week.

      • bensawesomeness - Feb 16, 2012 at 7:07 PM

        I think alot of it is that CBJ’d be shooting themselves in the foot to trade within their own division. Otherwise, you’re right, makes alot of sense

      • elvispocomo - Feb 17, 2012 at 2:07 PM

        Yup, same reason there isn’t more serious talk about Detroit, Chicago and Nashville being top destinations for him (among other reasons of course).

    • mikebel11 - Feb 17, 2012 at 2:58 AM

      A package of Bishop, Schwartz, Stewart and a 2nd rounder might look enticing. Clearly Stewart is having a hard time this year, but looking at his numbers from his days in Colorado and the last half of last year in St. Louis, why not take a chance on him.

    • elvispocomo - Feb 17, 2012 at 2:02 PM

      I think it’s more that Nash hasn’t mentioned them. They’ve been talked about as a good fit for Nash but if they aren’t on his shortlist, there’s not much they can do.

  2. knicks4life - Feb 16, 2012 at 7:36 PM

    Send him to islanders

  3. itsallniceonice - Feb 16, 2012 at 9:18 PM

    Saw this kid play a few times in college. The picture does him justice, hunched over and still as tall as the freaking net. Seems kind of like Rinne, as in he takes up a ton of net, but probably not as talented. Sadly out-dueled Quick in NCAA tourney, ugh.

  4. rca26 - Feb 17, 2012 at 12:09 AM

    I don’t speak for all Lightning fans, but I’ve been hoping for a while now that we could cash in a few of our pawns for this Bishop. Wondering if Yzerman’s garage sale this week can give the Bolts the firepower to swing a trade for this guy.

    Three second-rounders (plus whatever comes from Kubina, as well as possibly the others on the block) is a pretty packed treasure chest for even the deepest rebuild.

    • mikebel11 - Feb 17, 2012 at 3:00 AM

      I don’t speak for all Lightning fans, but I’ve been hoping for a while now that we could cash in a few of our pawns for this Bishop.

      Just thought that deserved to be posted twice.

  5. dreamzilla - Feb 17, 2012 at 2:22 AM

    id takem id take him over what we have in OIL COUNTRY!!!!

  6. dgs2012 - Feb 17, 2012 at 12:37 PM

    Bishop and Stewart for Nash … Yes please. Bishop has a chance to be a real good goaltender in this league, he’s shown flashes of greatness, but when it was bad–it was really bad. In 3 wins last season, he allowed 1 goal. In his 4 losses, 16 goals. For more, google Daily Grind Sports

    • elvispocomo - Feb 17, 2012 at 2:10 PM

      It’d take more than just those two to get Nash, especially in the same division. Think another top prospect and a high pick.

      • dgs2012 - Feb 17, 2012 at 2:12 PM

        You’re probably right … what about a Ian Cole? Or is that too risky with Carlo Colaiacovo becoming a FA

    • cardsandbluesforever - Feb 17, 2012 at 4:03 PM

      Bishop and Stewart for Nash would be good for us. i can assure you we wont be giving away Schwartz or any other top prospects to get another player- even Nash. Armstrong wont make a deal unless it benefits the Blues. we went through hell for several years to get those high draft picks, some of which flopped -Erik Johnson. right now our farm system is pretty loaded and it will stay that way for a while, nobody in management is considering tradeing away our future for a possible short term gain.

      Bishop, Stewart, and Coliacovo for Nash would be a pretty agreeable trade from our end, colombus would get a good young goalie with a bright future, a power forward who with the right motivation is capable of putting pucks in the net and a pretty reliable D-man as long as he stays off IR. we would get the sniper we’ve been missing since Hull left for Dallas.

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