The NHL Trade Deadline came and went in St. Louis rather quietly at 2 p.m. Monday.
The Blues’ only deadline deal came Sunday, when the team acquired a second-round draft choice in 2013 from the Ottawa Senators in exchange for goaltender Ben Bishop.
Bishop would have become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. With Jaroslav Halak
and Brian Elliott
each signed for two seasons, it was likely Bishop would have looked to sign a contract with another team, one that offered him a better opportunity to get between the pipes for an NHL club.
“When we signed Elliott, we knew Ben’s situation, (but) I was very content to have Ben play the season for us,” Armstrong told NHL.com. “If we didn’t get what we perceived was the proper value, he would have stayed in Peoria. But when Ottawa called, and we were able to work out something that both sides felt was appropriate, it was an easy decision.”
Sunday’s trade should work for both sides. For the Blues, they acquire a second round draft pick for a player they spent years developing, a player that would have likely left for nothing in return at season's end. For Ottawa, they pick up a goalie that has developed nicely over the last several seasons in the AHL and is ready for a chance to play in the NHL.
For the time being, Bishop will report to the AHL's Binghamton Senators, according to their official website.
“I wanted fair compensation and that can come in the form of a pick, a prospect or a player,” Armstrong said. “You go into things with an open mind, (but) I did feel a pick was the more likely scenario. I guess if somebody had come to me with a prospect, we would have discussed it, but with Ottawa, I was (offered) a pick and I was comfortable with that. You have to be realistic about what’s available.”
“It’s bittersweet leaving the Blues organization,” Bishop told the Rivermen’s website on Sunday. “It’s going to be a little sad saying goodbye to everybody, but I’m excited to get the opportunity in Ottawa. Anytime a team wants you, it feels good.”
The quiet deadline in St. Louis should come as no surprise. Earlier this month, Armstrong told NHL.com he liked the team he had.
"You're always looking to see if you can improve your team, but I like this group and I like the depth we have here," Armstrong said.