Former Lightning goalie Ben Bishop has found a new long-term home, likely enabling him to end his career where it began.
Bishop, 30, signed a six-year, $29.5 million deal Friday with the Dallas Stars, which had acquired his rights from L.A. on Tuesday. Bishop, a two-time Vezina Trophy finalist with Tampa Bay, returns to an area where he went to high school (Frisco) and played before college (NAHL's Texas Tornado).
"So excited to be in my old stomping ground's!" Bishop tweeted.
Bishop traded term (six years) for a smaller annual average ($4.91 million), roughly a million fewer than what he made in his last two years with the Lightning ($5.95 million). But Bishop, who is getting married this summer, gets long term security, including a no-move clause, and a shot to be a No. 1 for a talented Stars team that missed the playoffs this season.
"This looks a lot like the team we had in Tampa when I first got there," Bishop told the Dallas Morning News.
Bishop spent nearly four full seasons with the Lightning, securing several franchise records and leading them to back-to-back lengthy playoff runs. But Tampa Bay decided last summer it was going with 22-year-old prospect Andrei Vasilevskiy as its long term starter. It made for a stressful year of trade rumors for Bishop, who was nearly dealt to Calgary at the June NHL Draft. Bishop was eventually traded to the Kings before the Mar. 1 deadline, netting defenseman prospect Erik Cernak, backup goalie Peter Budaj (who is an unrestricted free agent July 1), a seventh round pick and conditional pick.
But the Lightning also gained precious cap space this summer, when it needs to sign restricted free agents Jonathan Drouin, Tyler Johnson and Ondrej Palat.