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Sens GM ‘happy’ with Bishop-Conacher trade, but first targeted Couturier?

Dec 5, 2013, 11:51 AM EDT

Bryan Murray AP

Hindsight being 20/20, most would call last spring’s Ben Bishop-for-Cory Conacher swap a big win for Tampa Bay.

While Bishop — the NHL’s tallest netminder — has thrived in Tampa Bay and played himself into Team USA Olympic consideration, Conacher has struggled to produce in Ottawa and has just five points through 28 games this year.

Despite this, the guy who orchestrated the trade says he’s pleased.

“When [Conacher] came up [to the Lightning], he was a pretty good player for them,” Sens GM Bryan Murray told the Ottawa Sun. “Right or wrong, we have a couple of players who are playing ahead of him, and he hasn’t had the full time, ice time and played on the top line very much here. And that affects everybody. Quite often it’s about who you get a chance to play with and what role and you get on a team.

“But I have no problem. The trade was made for the right reasons.”

Murray said the deal was driven by the fact he had three good goalies — Bishop, Robin Lehner and Craig Anderson — and that Lenher was the club’s future No. 1 while Anderson the incumbent, and under contract. With Bishop set to hit restricted free agency last summer, Murray said the move made with Tampa was the best he could’ve made and is “happy” with the results.


According to TSN’s Ian Mendes, the Sens GM had a bigger target in mind:

I can tell you with a great deal of authority that the Senators were pursuing a trade with the Flyers near the deadline that would have seen Ben Bishop traded to Philadelphia for Sean Couturier. That was the Senators first option and it looked like it may happen right up until 12 noon on deadline day.

The Flyers had even claimed centre Adam Hall off waivers right around the deadline, making the Sens believe they were ready to part with Couturier under the right circumstances.
But once the Flyers got cold feet, Murray had to look at his other options and he circled back to the Lightning.

Mendes adds there was another deal on the table with Edmonton, which would’ve landed Ryan Jones in Ottawa.

  1. ibieiniid - Dec 5, 2013 at 12:14 PM

    given their play this season, the winner of a Couturier/Bishop swap would have been debated like Bishop/Conacher has 1000x over. oddly enough, I once considered if Conacher would have been a good fit to replace Briere on the Flyers.

    if you choose to reply to this, keep in mind that I can guarantee you that I overvalue Conacher. living in Virginia Beach, I watched him dominate the AHL in the season the Norfolk Admirals won the Calder and broke the North American pro sports win streak record…. so my view on him is forever skewed upward lol

    • withseidelinn - Dec 5, 2013 at 12:31 PM

      I think his ceiling in the NHL is probably 50-60 points consistently, best case scenario. In my opinion he has to play on a team with a highly skilled and established top 6 for him to slot into. Too small for bottom 6 and not enough grit. He’s a finesse/skill guy and nothing else. Not to say there’s anything wrong with that, but he needs to be complimented by talented guys/ in order to be successful.

      • ibieiniid - Dec 5, 2013 at 12:45 PM

        that’s true. that’s the same team that had the likes of Johnson, Killorn, Panik, and Palat on it. I think he centered Panik and Palat from what I remember for most of that year. that’s a talented bunch right there.

    • ibieiniid - Dec 5, 2013 at 12:58 PM

      rereading this, it sounds like I would have advocated Couturier for Conacher, despite the value I give to Conacher, I still wouldn’t have.

      • ibieiniid - Dec 5, 2013 at 12:59 PM

        “for Conacher. Despite”*

  2. lightning69 - Dec 5, 2013 at 12:22 PM

    So…thank you Flyers?? Wow, that was hard to say out loud. JK

    Bishop has been huge for Tampa and Tyler Johnson made Conacher movable. Fan fav that he was and a good kid with keen hockey sense. Hope that Cory can put on some muscle and follow St Louis example of Huge/little players. Bolts love that TJ will throw forechecks into anyone, even Chara.

    Yzerman and Cooper deserve a lot of credit making moves possible because of the stellar AHL club they built.

    But the Bolt Boys gotta grow up fast and put pucks on net, Bishop still can’t win a game with shutouts if we don’t score!

  3. flyeredup - Dec 5, 2013 at 12:40 PM

    Another gaffe by Holmgren and Philly. Sigh

    • ibieiniid - Dec 5, 2013 at 12:45 PM

      you think not giving away Couturier for Ben Bishop was a gaffe? look at who they got instead. gaffe?

    • phillyphanatic77 - Dec 5, 2013 at 12:50 PM

      I hope this isn’t a serious comment. In case you haven’t noticed, over the past few weeks Couturier has been playing out of his mind. And on top of that, we have Mason, playing like a Vezina candidate (at 25, younger than Bishop), carrying this club. Coots is becoming a dominant defensive force and just had a 4-point night last night and Mason has a slightly better sv% than Bishop.

  4. mclovinhockey - Dec 5, 2013 at 8:53 PM

    Wow, rather than giving up a young stud like coots for a solid goalie with an awesome name like Bishop, the flyers traded AHL caliber goalie Leighton for Mason… Conchar is a phenomenal player, Bishop is a fantastic goalie… Coots and Mason are both as well. Homer made a great no move and sneaky move on this… All 3 teams in this article (making or not making moves) got better here haha.

  5. flyerspsu - Dec 7, 2013 at 5:22 AM

    Thank god Holmgren held, i will give him credit he has heard countless trade offers for both Couturier and Schenn for the last 2 and half years and held off on every one

  6. flyerspsu - Dec 7, 2013 at 5:22 AM

    Thank god Holmgren held off, i will give him credit he has heard countless trade offers for both Couturier and Schenn for the last 2 and half years and held off on every one

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