I they (FO) just refuse to send Conklin down, release him, etc. Bishop played well enough to show that he can be the backup for this team next year, so since the season is spoiled anyway, they're probably keeping Conklin up just so he can enjoy his last 17 or so games as an NHLer.
I would like to see the blues offer conklin a two way deal and see if he takes it that way if he does he can back up allen in peoria and if halak gets hurt he can be called up to split duties with bishop. I think that would give us a good veteran presence to keep everything steady between the pipes. Thats just my opinion though.
Conks wasn't on the AHL roster by the roster deadline so he can't be sent there now. It's really as simple as that. Bishop needs to play and he can help Peoria (who's still in a tight playoff race) more than he can help the Blues. Allen seems to be hitting a wall anyway, especially starting every game like he has been lately so this move makes a ton of sense to me. Halak will obviously get a majority of the starts the rest of the way (Payne has already said that the plan is for him to start both Wed & Thurs nights) so hopefully he can string together some games to serve as a nice springboard into next season.
As for the backup for next season, I would think that the Blues will consider Bishop as the backup but I think they'll look and see what else is out there as well. Personally, I would prefer if the Blues signed/traded for a solid vet backup. There are some good backup types that should be available July 1 and probably some others that could be had via trade for not very much in return. Some seem to dismiss the backup goalie position as somewhat of an afterthought but IMO, it's very important and with as extra important next season is shaping up to be for this organization, I think the Blues need to get a vet backup that they should be able to count on...basically the type of backup Conks used to be prior to this season. Guys that come to mind include Hedberg, Theodore, Auld, Labarbera, Boucher, etc.
I don't believe Bishop has played a minute of playoff hockey at the Professional level. Gaining the do or die type experience down the stretch could be very beneficial for him in the long run. I worry about a goalie developing in front of a team as inconsistent as the Blues have been playing lately anyway.