Stars Sign Bishop to Six-Year Deal
The Dallas Stars signed goaltender Ben Bishop to a six-year, $29.5 million contract. Earlier this week, the Stars acquired the 30-year-old Bishop’s rights from the Los Angeles Kings.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s an annual average value of over $4.916 million starting in 2017-18. Per TSN’s Pierre LeBrun, “the deal holds a no-move clause throughout and limited no-trade clause in the final three seasons, therefore he is automatically protected in June’s Vegas expansion draft.”
The deal is also front loaded, paying Bishop “$7 million in year one, $6.5 million in year two, $5.5 million in year three, and $3.5 million in each of the final three seasons.”
Bishop is completing a two-year, $11.9 million contract ($5.95-million annual cap hit) that also carried a no-movement clause and a modified no-trade. He’s accepting a lesser annual cap hit for the security of a longer term and no-move protection.
Dollar-wise, it’s a good deal for the Stars, as there was speculation Bishop might command up to $7 million per season. Whether the length of this contract and the no-move/limited no-trade clause proves worthwhile remains to be seen.
When Bishop’s healthy, he is among the league’s elite goaltenders. He’s a two-time Vezina Trophy finalist who backstopped the Tampa Bay Lightning to the 2015 Stanley Cup Final. He’s an obvious upgrade over the Stars current tandem of Kari Lehtonen and Antti Niemi and could make this club into a perennial playoff contender.
Since 2012, however, he’s been hampered by lower-body injuries. Should this issue continue or worsen over the course of this contract, it could adversely affect his performance, hurting Dallas’ efforts to become a Stanley Cup contender.
Bishop’s signing also mean Lehtonen and Niemi will be exposed in next month’s expansion draft. If the Vegas Golden Knights pass on those two, one or both could be bought out of the final year of their contracts or placed on the trade block.