Benjamin Manning Bishop III is an American professional ice hockey goaltender for the Los Angeles Kings of the National Hockey League (NHL). Bishop has previously played in the NHL with the St. Louis Blues, Ottawa Senators, and the Tampa Bay Lightning. He played college hockey at Maine. Nicknamed "Big Ben", Bishop is 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) tall, and is the tallest goaltender to ever play in the NHL.
Bishop was born in Denver, Colorado, and grew up in Des Peres, Missouri. He is the son of Ben Bishop, Jr. and Cindy Bishop. Bishop's grandfather was a tennis professional who played in the US Open.
Bishop attended Chaminade College Preparatory School in St. Louis. Bishop played
forward until eight years of age, when he was converted to a goaltender. Bishop played for the Texas Tornado of North American Hockey League (NAHL) during the 2004–05 season. He appeared in 45 games and posted a League-best record of 35 wins, eight losses and five shutouts. His goals against average (GAA) of 1.93 was second in the League. Most notably, he led the Texas Tornado to their second consecutive National Championship and Gold Cup, given to the best junior A hockey team in North America. Bishop was named to the first team of the NAHL All-Rookie Team at the end of the season.
As a freshman for the University of Maine during the 2005–06 season, Bishop finished the regular season with a record of 21 wins, eight losses and two ties with a 2.28 GAA. In his first game as a collegiate player, he lost in overtime to Colorado College in Colorado. The following weekend, Bishop led Maine to a sweep of the back-to-back national champions, the University of Denver. In October 2005 and February 2006, he was awarded Rookie of the Month as well as Goaltender of the Month by the NCAA's Hockey East conference.
Bishop was drafted by the St. Louis Blues in the third round of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, 85th overall, and became one of their top prospects. It was announced on March 11, 2008, that he had signed with the Blues, and he played with the Peoria Rivermen, the Blues' top American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, for the remainder of that season. It was announced on October 19, 2008, that Bishop was recalled from Peoria to join the Blues in the NHL.
On October 24, 2008, Bishop made his NHL debut, coming off the bench in relief of the injured Manny Legace. Bishop ultimately appeared in six games with the Blues in 2008–09 and was the back-up goaltender for all four of the team's playoff games that season. In his third game played of the season, he would record his first NHL shutout, which came against the Edmonton Oilers at Rexall Place on February 25, 2011, stopping all 39 shots in a 5–0 win. On July 5, 2011, Bishop signed a one-year contract with the Blues.
On February 26, 2012, Bishop was traded to the Ottawa Senators for a second-round draft pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. At the time of the trade, Bishop was the AHL's top goaltender with a 24–14–0 record, a 2.26 GAA, a .928 save percentage and a League-leading six shutouts through 38 games.
Due to the 2012–13 NHL lockout, Bishop began the season in the AHL with the Binghamton Senators, where he posted an 8–3–2 record and 2.59 GAA in 13 games. Once the lockout was resolved, he was called up to Ottawa to serve as backup to Craig Anderson.
On April 3, 2013, Bishop was dealt at the 2012–13 NHL trade deadline by the Senators to the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for forward Cory Conacher and a fourth-round draft pick. On April 15, Bishop signed a two-year, $4.6 million extension with the Lightning. Bishop set a career high and Tampa Bay franchise record on January 19, 2014, by making 48 saves in a victory over the Carolina Hurricanes
During the 2013–14 season, Bishop was named the starting goaltender for Tampa Bay. Bishop posted a 37–14–7 record last in the 63 games played that season. He also recorded a .924 save percentage and a 2.23 GAA. Bishop was ranked fourth in games played, as well as seventh in save percentage and goals against. He posted five shutouts, which was the second-most in Lightning history, and also set single season records for wins, save percentage and GAA. He recorded the second-most saves in Lightning history, with 1,625.
On August 2, 2014, the Lightning announced that Bishop's contract had been extended for two years. On March 30, 2015, Bishop became the first Lightning goalie to record two assists in one game.
On April 18, 2015, Bishop made his Stanley Cup playoff debut, and earned his first career playoff win in a 5–1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings. On May 29, 2015, Bishop joined Tim Thomas and Patrick Roy as the only goalies to post shutouts in two game sevens in a single playoff year. Bishop also became the first goalie to post two shutouts in two game sevens in his first season in the playoffs. Additionally, Bishop became the first goaltender to win back-to back-playoff shutouts in Madison Square Garden, which would cause the New York Rangers to lose their first game seven at home in their franchise's history.
Bishop made his debut with Los Angeles on February 28, a 2-1 overtime loss in which he stopped 28 of 30 shots and was awarded the game's third star.