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Bishop traded to Kings

Bishop traded to Kings (Bishop, #30) Lisa Gansky via Flickr

NHL

The Tampa Bay Lightning traded goaltender Ben Bishop to the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday. In return, the Lightning receive defenseman Erik Cernak, goaltender Peter Budaj, a seventh-round draft pick and a 2017 conditional draft pick. The Kings also receive a fifth-round pick. Tampa Bay will retain 20 percent of Bishop’s salary

Bishop is a free agent at the end of the season, and it was expected that Tampa would trade him before the deadline. Andrei Vasilevskiy will be the full-time starter now, and the Lightning have committed to him long-term. Vasilevskiy’s three year contract extension kicks in next season.

The Lightning felt that they would not be able to re-sign Bishop due to salary cap restrictions. Jonathan Drouin and Tyler Johnson are among the free agents for the Lightning this upcoming summer. Many expect these players to fetch big money.

The move comes as a surprise to many, as Kings starter Jonathan Quick returned to action on Saturday after missing  59 games. Quick returned from injury faster than expected, and the Kings could be weary of putting a heavy workload on the former Conn Smythe winner.

Adding Bishop does give the Kings another option in net. Bishop has a 16-12-3 record, with a 2.55 goals against average and a .911 save percentage in 32 games

While Quick was on the shelf, Budaj filled in well as the starter, posting a record of 27-20-3 with a 2.12 GAA and a .917 SV% in 53 games. Expect Budaj to back up Vasilevskiy, who has struggled in 32 appearances this season (29 starts).

Cernak is a second round pick (43rd overall) by the Kings from the 2015 Draft. The Slovakian defenseman had 17 points in 41 games for the Erie Otters in the OHL.

The Kings currently trail the St. Louis Blues by 3 points for the second Wild Card spot in the Western Conference.