The Dallas Stars have handed Ben Bishop a six-year, $29.5 million contract to be their savior in goal.
The team announced the deal on Friday morning three days after acquiring the 30-year-old’s rights from the Los Angeles Kings. The deal carries a $4.916 million cap hit.
Ben Bishop contract details: $7 M, $6.5 M, $5.5 M, $3.5 M, $3.5 M, $3.5 M; and NMC throughout, modified NTC last 3 years
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) May 12, 2017
“As I stated previously, Ben is an elite goaltender in this League and we’re thrilled to be adding him to our mix,” said Stars GM Jim Nill in a statement. “Ben’s commitment to what we are building in Dallas, and his passion for wanting to be a part of it, was evident during the negotiating process. We are excited to have him under contract for the next six seasons.”
The cap hit is fine, and the only reason you get it to “fine” is because Nill had to give some term, which could bite the Stars in the long run. After the Kari Lehtonen/Antti Niemi two-headed monster experiment, they better hope this move pans out or it’ll continue being an area holding the team back along that atrocious penalty kill.
Bishop, who has some familiarity with the Lone Star State having played for the Texas Tornado of the NAHL in 2004-05 and graduated from high school in Frisco, told Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News earlier this week that he sees a lot of promise in this Stars team.
“I think we have a good relationship, and I know his teams in St. Louis were tough to play against,” Bishop said. “Like I said, I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but this looks a lot like the team we had in Tampa when I first got there. There is plenty of firepower to score goals, and the opportunity is there to work on the other areas and improve those areas.”
With Bishop signed up, now comes the question about what Nill will do with Lehtonen and Niemi, who are both signed through 2018. Lehtonen carries a $5.9 million cap hit while Niemi’s is $4.5 million. Heika thinks Lehtonen stays due to the belief he can improve under new head coach Ken Hitchcock. Niemi will likely be dealt or bought out when that window opens next month.
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