The L.A. Kings have made a move aimed at bolstering their goaltending for the stretch drive, acquiring goalie Ben Bishop from the Tampa Bay Lightning.
That is according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie on Sunday. The Kings have since officially announced the deal. Also going to the Kings is a fifth-round pick in the 2017 NHL Draft. Meanwhile, going back to the Lightning is goalie Peter Budaj, defenseman Erik Cernak, a seventh-round pick in this year’s draft and a conditional pick this year, as well.
Per hockey insider Pierre LeBrun, the Bolts will retain some of Bishop’s salary in the move, although there wasn’t a specific amount in the report. Bishop, who was injured in last year’s Eastern Conference Final, is a pending unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, in the final year of a two-year, $11.9 million contract.
Despite impressive play in each of the last three seasons for Tampa Bay, his future with that organization had been uncertain for a while. This season, Bishop has a record of 16-12-3 with a .911 save percentage.
The news comes one day after Jonathan Quick returned to the Kings crease after a 59-game absence due to a groin injury and was solid in a big win versus the Anaheim Ducks.
The Kings are, at least right now, three points out of the final wild card spot in the West.
Meanwhile, Budaj has been solid in net for the Kings, having taken over the starting duties when Quick was injured in October. He has a 27-20-3 record and a .917 save percentage. The Bolts are seven points out of the final wild card spot in the East.