Ben Bishop recently received a new two-year, $11.9 million extension from the Tampa Bay Lightning. The club rewarded Bishop with a hefty raise following his outstanding 2013-14, but they avoided making a long-term commitment with the goaltender. With just one full NHL season under his belt, the team is hoping Bishop proves his 2.23 GAA and .924 save percentage weren’t a fluke.
Bishop is well aware that he still has a lot to prove. When he spoke with the Tampa Bay Times, he outlined his desire to avoid being a one-hit wonder.
“I had one really good year this year – I think I’ve still got to prove myself. I want to be consistent year in and year out. I don’t want to be a one-hit wonder. I want to be even better this year. I thought it was a fair deal on both sides.”
This is a blunt and extremely realistic/accurate comment from the goaltender. Too often the NHL has seen teams make a huge commitment to goaltenders who have only one or two strong seasons under their belt. The end result is usually painful and costly. Here, Bishop recognizes that he’s been a #1 goaltender for one season and though he passed with flying colors, he understands that situations like Steve Mason happen.
A $5.95 million cap hit for a goalie isn’t a cheap one by any means, but it’s reasonable given Bishop’s strong, yet brief track record. Now it’s up to Bishop to prove that he’s capable of stringing together multiple successful seasons.