Senators acquire G Bishop from Blues for second-round pick Staff

2/26/2012 7:39:44 PM

The St. Louis Blues have dealt goaltender Ben Bishop to the Ottawa Senators in exchange for a second-round selection in the 2013 entry draft.

Bishop was due to become a free agent this summer but agreed to a one-year, one-way contract worth $650,000 as part of Sunday's trade.

The deal won't be signed until Monday.

Originally, the plan was for Bishop to sign with the Blues and then be traded to the Senators, but the plan was altered at the last second. The new plan is for Bishop to negotiate directly with the Senators, which he is currently doing. The general framework of the deal is done, and the final details and signing are expected later this afternoon.

"We had talked about a depth goaltender or a goaltender since we didn't have enough depth at that position," Senators general manager Bryan Murray said. "Ben is a five-year pro and has had a real growth in his game the last couple of years, (Senators goaltending coach) Rick Wamsley had worked with him for two years and knows him quite well as a person.

"We think this man is ready to play in the NHL at some point here, whether he plays right away or not we'll determine that as we go forward."

The 25-year-old netminder has put up exceptional numbers with the American Hockey League's Peoria Rivermen this season, registering a 24-14-0 record with a 2.26 goals-against average and 0.928 save percentage through 38 games. He's also posted a league-leading six shutouts this season.

"I'm very excited. Ottawa is a great hockey city and I couldn't be happier," said Bishop. "It's a great, fresh start for me. Words really can't describe how excited I am right now."

The Blues were forced into making a decision on the netminder due to the team's crowded crease. With All-Star Brian Elliott and 2010-11 starter Jaroslav Halak still under contract, the 6'7 Bishop was in danger of becoming a Group 6 unrestricted free agent this off-season.

Bishop was originally drafted in the third round (85th overall) by the Blues at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft.

The Denver, Colorado native hasn't played an NHL game since March 7 of last year.