Bishop, Lehner to battle in minors

Goaltenders Ben Bishop and Robin Lehner are both getting their wish.

Bishop has found a place to play during the NHL lockout, signing an American Hockey League contract with the Binghamton Senators for the duration of the squabble between NHL owners and players. Lehner, who was the unquestioned number one goaltender in Binghamton, will now receive his chance to prove himself in a head-to-head battle against Bishop.

It’s also a bitter-sweet problem for Binghamton coach Luke Richardson, who must find a way to give playing time to the two netminders, who have both experienced their share of NHL success. Binghamton opens its regular season on Saturday.

Established NHL players are not permitted to sign AHL deals. While Bishop finished the 2011-12 season on the Senators roster – he had a 3-3-2 record, a 2.48 goals against average and .909 save percentage after being acquired from the St. Louis Blues last February – he was eligible to sign an AHL contract because he was on a minor league roster at last season’s trade deadline.

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