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Senators G Ben Bishop said Tampa Bay Lightning was 'very interested' in him at trade deadline



There was plenty of speculation before the Feb. 27 trade deadline that the Tampa Bay Lightning was interested in acquiring minor-league goaltender Ben Bishop from the Blues. On Tuesday, Bishop, who ultimately was dealt to the Senators, said he was aware the Lightning was "one of the major teams that was interested."

Bishop, 25, will make his Ottawa debut tonight against the Lightning at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. He said he does not care against whom he is playing. That said, when asked if he had heard of Tampa Bay's interest, he responded, "Yeah, I did know that they were very interested going down the line. I don't know how close they got, but it doesn't matter who the opponent is, you just want to play well, especially in your first game."

The Blues traded Bishop to the Senators for a second-round draft pick. Lightning GM Steve Yzerman, with two first-round picks in the 2012 draft and up to four in the second, certainly had enough assets to beat that offer. That he chose not to -- Yzerman has said he wasn't willing to give up a second-round pick -- means there were either some red flags on Bishop's resume (perhaps his lack of NHL experience) or that Yzerman is after another goalie (speculation is he likes Vancouver's Cory Schneider).

Whatever the reasons, it will be interesting to see how Bishop does against Tampa Bay. It also will be interesting to see if he uses a quirky way to get the puck quickly down the ice.

"I use my knee to leverage the puck up and it's a kind-of kick shot," he said. "It's nice to use it when you're shorthanded, so you can clear the puck all the way down."

Other stuff from the morning skate: As expected, Mathieu Garon gets the start in net for the Lightning. ... It sounds as if defenseman Victor Hedman is in after missing four games with an upper-body injury. Hedman would not divulge his injury but was adamant he never was worried about a concussion. Hedman did say his trip to the University of Michigan's University Hospital was to clear his mind of any worries. "My head wasn't the big issue in this case," said Hedman, who missed 13 games in January with a concussion. "Just some other stuff that was bothering me." ... Defenseman Bruno Gervais (upper body) is out, which takes away a decision for coach Guy Boucher, who will again go with seven defensemen and 11 forwards. ... Captain Vinny Lecavalier, who has missed seven games with a fractured right hand, will not play Thursday at Washington, Boucher said, and there is no timetable for his return. "He's not ready yet at all," Boucher said, and added. "As much as I would love spending time waiting for Vinny, we have to focus on the guys who are here." ... Senators defenseman Matt Gilroy said he was at the mall with Lightning forwards Steven Stamkos and Teddy Purcell when he got the call from Yzerman that he had been traded. "I was a little upset, but I got to come to a great team in Ottawa and got over it quick," Gilroy said. "It's a good situation in a hockey market. The only difference is the climate is a little different." Gilroy said he enjoyed his time with the Lightning. "It was a great experience, a great group of guys. I learned a lot and thanks to everyone in the organization in Tampa. I'm sure I'll remain friends with tons of people there." ... Lightning defenseman Brian Lee, whom the Senators traded to get Gilroy, joked he will be giving away all of Ottawa's secrets. "I'll be giving them all away," he said. "They're for sale, for sure."

[Last modified: Wednesday, March 7, 2012 11:41am]


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