Friday, January 20, 2012

Bishop's Time With St. Louis Could Be Limited

By Andrew Allsman| Posted: January 20th, 2012| Contact 

With the Elliott contract extension, there just isn't room for Bishop in NHL

Earlier this week the Blues announced that G Brian Elliott had been signed to a 2-year contract extension, and while most people were excited there was one person that wasn't.

6'7" goaltender Ben Bishop has spent the entire year in Peoria after losing the backup goalie job to Brian Elliott in training camp.  Since this time, Brian Elliott has surprisingly been "lights out", allowing Bishop almost no chance of returning to the NHL this season, unless with a different organization.

Elliott was rewarded with a contract extension and a pay raise while Bishop remains in the AHL waiting for an opportunity that quite frankly, will never come (barring an injury).

Bishop has waited patiently for his shot the last few seasons, and was only called up when an injury occurred.  Though he's proven he has the capability of being an NHL goaltender, the Blues just haven't had room for him, and to make things even more frustrating for Bishop, when he did have the chance, he was overlooked only because of lack of experience.

But these frustrations alone are not why Bishop is likely to be traded.

Bishop is a RFA at the end of the current season, so the Blues would be able to hold on to him right?

Wrong.  There is something called a group 6 unrestricted free agent and Bishop is likely to become one at the end of the season.

Basically to explain it in layman's terms, at the end of his current contract if he has not played 28 games in the NHL, he becomes an UFA and the Blues lose their rights to him.

Right now Bishop has participated in 13 NHL games, so unless he plays 15 more this season the Blues lose his rights.

The Blues will want to get something for him before they lose him so a trade is inevitable.

Bishop has put up great numbers in Peoria this year as he is 17-10-0 with a .932 sv% so teams should be interested.

One rumor has already surfaced today saying that Bishop and Kyle Okposo have been mentioned in talks between the Blues and Islanders....Not sure how credible it is, but it is interesting.

Stay tuned......