Today, the Los Angeles Kings traded for a number one goalie to be their number two. And yes, it was only the second-most surprising swap of the day (topical!), but grabbing Ben Bishop from the Tampa Bay Lightning was a fascinating way for LA to kick off their deadline.
General manager Dean Lombardi discussed the trade on a media conference call. Choice quotes:
Lombardi said he and Tampa Bay's Steve Yzerman were working on Bishop deal for two or three weeks.— Helene Elliott (@helenenothelen) February 27, 2017
The wait hurt LA in the standings, but it probably helped them in terms of price. Once Quick returns, the desperation lessens.
Dean says that offensive improvement has to come from within; downplayed search for outside scoring help.— Jon Rosen (@lakingsinsider) February 27, 2017
He’s right — the Kings won’t make the playoffs if Marian Gaborik, Anze Kopitar, and Tyler Toffoli fail to supplement the scoring of Jeff Carter and Tanner Pearson — but this trade deadline is a loss if the Kings don’t get a forward as well.
Dean Lombardi says a first-round pick was "out of the question" in any Bishop discussions.— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) February 27, 2017
Refreshing! The conditional could be a second-round pick, but from what we know about the conditions, the pick becoming a second-rounder probably would mean that Ben Bishop won the Kings a Cup, and no one would care.
From our friends in Tampa, it’s a bitter day, and not a bittersweet one. While the move makes sense, Bishop took the struggling Lightning to new heights (rimshot!) upon his arrival, and even if the presence of goalie-of-the-future Andrei Vasilevskiy softens the blow, the general reaction is that Tampa could’ve gotten more.
Here’s the NBCSN reaction, which is mostly a confused one. (Bright side: it preempted Chicago Blackhawks coverage.) Jeremy Roenick thinks sign-and-trade; in fairness, that was my fourth thought upon hearing about the move, though I hedged the heck out of it.
The rest of the hockey world’s reaction? Most people thought the Kings won the deal, which is probably true from a right-now standpoint. This is especially true if you are of the school of thought that the team which gets the best player wins the trade.
Hockey fans thought the Bishop deal was pretty nice for the Kings. pic.twitter.com/bwMCNcQCHg— Jewels frm the Crown (@JFTC_Kings) February 27, 2017
Of course, the prevailing sentiment was not “Good job, Kings.” It was... “What?” I’m not embedding all of those tweets here, but it’s safe to say this came out of left field, and even if no one thinks it’s a bad trade for LA, many think it’s a superfluous one.