The Dallas Stars need a new goaltender and Ben Bishop is arguably the best available. So what would it take to get him net for next season?
With two games remaining, the Dallas Stars are placing a bow on the 2016-17 NHL season. One year removed from the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference, the Dallas Stars find themselves missing the playoffs entirely and guaranteed a losing record.
“What went wrong” is a question everybody in Stars Nation is asking these days. From the front office, to the soon-to-be-dispatched coaching staff, to the players, and to the fans, “what went wrong” will be the guiding force in the offseason.
While the defensemen certainly carry significant blame, the goaltending situation appears to be priority No 1. The Dallas Stars two goalie system of Kari Lehtonen and Antti Niemi has failed the team. Instead of having two capable goalies, the Stars had zero.
Sure, we saw flashes, but nothing that would instill confidence. Especially not in the Stanley Cup Playoffs should the Dallas Stars get back there. That’s why changes must be made in net. Even if every other part of the team is fixed before next season, it won’t matter if the goalies are not addressed. With both players under contract, one or both of them will need to be bought out.
There isn’t a ton of free agent goaltenders available on the market this offseason. Many are “has-beens” or just guys who appear to be Lehtonen/Niemi starter kits. Regardless, most available goaltenders are not considered starting quality.
Ben Bishop is the exception, of course. Bishop, appears to be far-and-away the best goaltender on the market. At age 30, Bishop is clearly no spring chicken. But that won’t stop him from collecting ridiculous money this offseason.
Beggers can’t be choosers and since there’s considerably more demand than there is supply, Bishop is going to get paid like a king. 19 NHL goaltenders collect $5 million or more annually. That includes Kari Lehtonen who painfully makes $6 million. Bishop will get paid in this arena.
Expect Bishop to go looking for something in excess of $7 million annually. If there’s a bidding war he shouldn’t have a problem getting it.
The Dallas Stars
Should the Dallas Stars pony up the cash and get it done? That’s probably a topic for another day. But the Stars could mask a glut of mistakes if they can just find a top goalie to guard the net.
Finding a young budding star would be the most preferable solution. But since those kind of franchise cornerstones don’t grow on trees (or anywhere in the Stars’ system), Dallas may need to get creative if they don’t want to open their wallets for Bishop (and the last time they got creative it was to start their two-goalie system).
Ben Bishop is going to break the bank. He’s going to severely limit what the Stars can do elsewhere on the roster. But he’ll also solve the issue in net. What do you say? Sign the 6’7” Bishop or get creative?