Call up NHL.com’s records of goalies who have played at least one regular-season game since 1917-18, and you get 786 names. Sort by height, and Ben Bishop ranks first at 6-foot-7. He’s the biggest man ever to protect an NHL crease.
Bishop was an obvious physical standout when teams began scouting him – which came as a surprise to him during his high school days, as he had no expectation of becoming an NHLer. On top of his wingspan, he was quite agile for his size and a skilled, swashbuckling puckhandler.
Still, it took Bishop a while to get his shot as an NHL starter. His hometown team, the St. Louis Blues, drafted him, but they had a logjam in net with Brian Elliott and Jaroslav Halak. Elliott was in the midst of setting a modern-day save percentage record of .940, so he wasn’t going anywhere. The Blues dealt Bishop in 2012 to the Ottawa Senators, where he had to share the crease again, this time with Craig Anderson, who was in the midst of beating Elliott’s record with a .941 SP.
Bishop finally became a starter at 26 when he was traded to Tampa Bay in 2013, and he became a Vezina Trophy finalist twice in a three-season stretch. He leads the Lightning in every major career goaltending category, from games to wins to save percentage to goals-against average and shutouts.
Bishop’s giant frame makes him tough to score on but also easy to crash into, unfortunately, and he’s battled injuries throughout his career. He got nudged out of the Lightning crease by young star Andrei Vasilevskiy and eventually landed with the Dallas Stars in 2017 and signed a contract. It was a natural fit since he played high school hockey in Texas for a season and loved it. With half a decade left on his deal, he has a chance to establish himself as one of the game’s all-time best big men in net.
Born: Nov. 21, 1986, Denver, Col.
NHL Career: 2008-present
Teams: StL, Ott, TB, LA, Dal
Stats: 174-97-30, 2.35 GAA, .919 SP, 24 SO
All-Star: 1 (Second-1)
DID YOU KNOW?
Bishop’s grandfather was a pro tennis player who competed at the U.S. Open in 1951 and 1952. He was named Ben, too, and named his son Ben, who named his son, Ben. So the NHL’s Ben Bishop is actually Ben Bishop III.