TAMPA — Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop was named a finalist on Friday for the Vezina Trophy as the top goalie in the league.
Boston’s Tuukka Rask and Colorado’s Semyon Varlamov were also named as finalists for the award, which will be handed out at the NHL Awards show in Las Vegas on June 24.
This marks just the second time a Lightning goaltender has been named a finalist for the Vezina, which is voted on by league general managers. Darren Puppa finished third in voting in 1995-96.
“Anytime you can be nominated for one of those awards it’s something special,’’ said Bishop, who plans to attend the awards. “But if it wasn’t for the guys in front of me, I wouldn’t be able to get nominated for an award like this, so I look at this as a team thing.’’
Bishop set a franchise record this season with 37 victories. He also set team single-season records for lowest goals-against average (2.23) among goaltenders with at least 30 starts and best save percentage (.924), despite playing half the season with a torn ligament in his right wrist. He wore a cast on the wrist during games for most of the season’s second half.
Bishop will have the wrist examined at the Cleveland Clinic on Monday, and if surgery is required it will take place Tuesday, he said. If surgery is performed, Bishop will require three to four months of rehabilitation, but expect to be ready for the start of training camp in September.
The 27-year-old also sustained a dislocated left elbow April 8, which forced him to miss the final three games of the regular season and four-game playoff sweep by Montreal.
“When I hurt my elbow, I wasn’t wearing the cast on my wrist, and it felt so good because I wasn’t wearing the cast under my blocker (pad),’’ Bishop said. “So, it was a little bit of a struggle. There’s a few goals that went in that I might have been able to stop if I didn’t have the cast, so having to deal with that was a little frustrating, but I don’t think it was any sort of an excuse.’’
Overall, Bishop finished fourth in the league in victories, seventh in save percentage, seventh in goals-against average and tied for fourth with five shutouts.
Rask, who was 36-15-6 for the Bruins, was the only goaltender to rank among the NHL’s top five in each of the major statistical categories: first in shutouts (seven), second in save percentage (.930), fourth in goals-against average (2.04) and fifth in wins.
Varlamov, led the NHL and set an Avalanche franchise record with 41 victories, ranked first in the NHL in shots faced (2,013) and saves (1,867) and was 7-1-1 mark when facing 40 or more shots.
Bishop, Rask and Varlamov are first-time finalists for the awards.
Earlier this week, Lightning forwards Tyler Johnson and Ondrej Palat were named finalists for the Calder Trophy, which goes to the NHL’s top rookie. Nathan MacKinnon of Colorado is the other finalist.
The Lightning will host three camps this summer for players in 10-and-under and 15-and-under age groups. The Brandon Ice Sports Forum will host a camp from June 23-27, while the Ellenton Iceplex will host a camp from July 7-11 and a third will be held at the Daytona International Skateway from July 14-18.
Each age group will receive two on-ice and one 60-minute off-ice training session per day. Each camper camp will receive daily lunches, a drawstring bag, t-shirt, shorts and an official Lightning Made camp jersey. For more information and registration details, visit www.tampabaylightning.com/lightningmade