By Allan Muir
It was a nice bit of work by Tampa Bay GM Steve Yzerman to outbid the competition and add Ben Bishop from Ottawa at the trade deadline. And it was an even neater trick to extend the netminder yesterday with a two-year, $4.6 million deal. That’s a reasonable cap hit for an emerging No. 1 (right around what Corey Crawford and Jimmy Howard currently make), and the short term gives Bishop time to prove himself in the role while allowing Yzerman to beat a fairly hasty retreat if he doesn’t.
Now that he’s committed to two promising but inexperienced goaltenders in Bishop and last summer’s prize acquisition, Anders Lindback, it’s time to get serious about the real problem in Tampa.
Remember Bishop’s flashy debut for the Lightning? The key takeaway from that scintillating performance wasn’t that he recorded a shutout in a 5-0 thrashing of the Carolina Hurricanes. It’s that he faced down a career-high 45 shots in the process.
And that tells you exactly where Yzerman’s full attention should be focused this summer.