Senators acquire G Ben Bishop from St. Louis for draft pick

As was first reported by Bruce Garrioch, the Ottawa Senators have acquired goaltender Ben Bishop from the St. Louis Blues in exchange for, according to Bob McKenzie, the Senators' 2013 second-round draft pick.

Bishop is a 25-year-old goaltending prospect who was drafted in the third round (85 overall) of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, so the move jives with what Bryan Murray said about acquiring a player who'd stay with the team moving forward, rather than looking for a rental--especially since, according to McKenzie, Ottawa signed Bishop to a one-year, one-way contract extension just after the deal. It looks like the Senators have their back-up in place for next season, then, and Robin Lehner will still have two one-way contracts he'll have to beat out if he's going to get a shot. Bishop's also huge: 6'7" and 210 pounds, so he takes up plenty of net.

It remains to be seen what Bishop might do for Ottawa this season. He was supposed to battle with Brian Elliott for the backup position in St. Louis this season, but Elliott's stellar numbers meant Bishop has spent most of the season with Peoria of the AHL. In 13 NHL games split between 2009-10 and 2010-11, Bishop had a 4-5-2 record with an .896 SP and a 2.83 GAA, so his NHL numbers aren't great. In the AHL, though, he's been much stronger, to the point where Eric Francis (of the CBC and the Calgary Sun) tweeted that he's "the best goalie in the AHL." Bishop does have the AHL's highest save percentage with a 0.928 SP this year, his GAA is fifth-best (2.26 GAA), and is tied for the league-lead in wins with 24.

The biggest question mark surrounding this deal is after Alex Auld's name. Auld hasn't been reliable this season, as evidenced by last night's game, and with Craig Anderson injured the Senators can't afford to wait for Auld to get into a groove. Bishop will push Auld, and might even push him to the curb, or the waiver market, or--even worse--the Toronto Maple Leafs.

One thing Bishop's presence brings to the team: Competition in the crease, and that should be a good thing until Anderson comes back and takes the reins again.

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