Ben Bishop Signs with Stars

Today it was announced that Ben Bishop has agreed to a contract with the Dallas Stars three days after he was traded there from the Kings. This deal was for six years and has an annual cap hit of $4,916,667.  I think that this is an excellent move for both sides as Bishop will finally have some security once again after two straight seasons with trade rumors surrounding him.  For the Stars, they have addressed the biggest weakness they have faced in recent seasons.  They had tried to play duel starting goaltenders with Antti Niemi and Kari Lehtonen splitting time, but that plan has failed badly. With Bishop, the Stars will finally have a true starting goaltender who is capable of taking a significant workload and excelling in that role.

Ben Bishop’s Numbers:

Season Games Started Record Shutouts GAA Save %
2015-16 60 35-21-4 6 2.06 .926
2016-17 37 18-15-5 1 2.54 .910
Career 257 148-80-25 19 2.32 .919

Dallas Stars Goaltending Numbers Last Two Seasons:

Season Games Started Record Shutouts GAA Save %
2015-16 82 50-23-9 5 2.71 .906
2016-17 82 34-37-11 3 3.30 .892

As you can see by comparing Bishop’s statistics to those Niemi and Lehtonen, Bishop is a significant upgrade to what the Stars have been working with the past two seasons. Even two years ago when Dallas won the Central Division with 109 points, they still had horrible goaltending and were below average in all goaltending categories.

Bishop should help the Stars get back to the playoffs next season but that doesn’t mean that the work is done for GM Jim Nill.  As of right now, the Stars will be paying their goaltenders over $15.3 million next season, which is 21% of their salary cap.  This will certainly be addressed this offseason and I think that they will either attempt to trade Antti Niemi or will simply buy him out as he just one year left on his deal.

I originally thought that Dallas would have been a good landing spot for Pittsburgh’s Marc-Andre Fleury, who is almost guaranteed to be moved this offseason.  However, after acquiring and then signing Ben Bishop, I think that the Stars pursued the correct goaltender.  There was never a guarantee that Fleury was willing to move his No-Move Clause and he also would have to approve a trade to Dallas.  Jim Nill jumping on this opportunity and then locking Bishop down for six seasons, is an excellent move.

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