Sports

Former UMaine star signs six-year, $29.5M deal with Dallas

Former UMaine star signs six-year, $29.5M deal with Dallas

"This offers us the opportunity to negotiate with him before the free agency period begins".

The Dallas Stars locked up a goalie with Stanley Cup Final experience Friday in hopes of solving one of their biggest problems. That started with Lindy Ruff being replaced behind the bench by Ken Hitchcock, Dallas getting the third overall pick and most recently addressing the goaltending situation.

Dallas' strategy to split starts between Antti Niemi and Kari Lehtonen this season yielded the worst team save percentage in the National Hockey League at.893, and only the lowly Colorado Avalanche allowed more goals against.

Bishop signed a six year $29.5 million contract with the Stars, who are expected to buy out Niemi if he is not taken in the upcoming expansion draft, meaning the cap hit would be just $1.5 million a season. They have to get rid of one of their two incumbent goalies. The next move will likely be to deal either Kari Lehtonen or Antti Niemi, who carry a combined cap hit of $10.4 million for the 2017-18 campaign. 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).

Bishop, 30, played for the Tampa Bay Lightning for four and a half years before being dealt to the Los Angeles Kings at this year's trade deadline. The Stars had several options, but chose to be bold and go all-in by trading for the free agent rights of Ben Bishop. He's best known for helping lead Tampa to the Stanley Cup Final in 2015, losing to the Chicago Blackhawks in six games.

Los Angeles still failed to make the playoffs for the second time in three seasons.

In his ten seasons in the NHL, Bishop has a career record of 148-80, a 2.32 GAA and a.919 save percentage. He finished second in the Vezina voting in 2016 after being selected for the All-Star Game.


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