By GREG BEACHAM, AP Hockey Writer
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Dallas Stars acquired the rights to goalie Ben Bishop from the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday for a fourth-round pick in the upcoming draft.
Bishop will be an unrestricted free agent this summer unless Dallas signs him before July 1, but the Stars clearly hope to secure the two-time Vezina Trophy finalist as their new starting goalie.
“Ben has proven that he is one of the elite goaltenders in the NHL,” Dallas general manager Jim Nill said. “This offers us the opportunity to negotiate with him before the free agency period begins.”
Dallas split its playing time in net last season between Kari Lehtonen, who has been with the Stars since the 2009-10 season, and Antti Niemi.
Both goalies had unimpressive years while the Stars missed the playoffs, but both are under contract for next season at a combined $10.4 million. The combined buyouts for both goalies would be about $3.5 million.
The 6-foot-7 Bishop played just seven games after the Kings acquired him from Tampa Bay to play alongside Jonathan Quick. Since-fired Kings general manager Dean Lombardi engineered the trade to create an elite goaltending duo that would allow the Kings to rest Quick, who was returning from a major injury.
Los Angeles still failed to make the playoffs for the second time in three seasons. Bishop went 2-3-2 with a 2.49 goals-against average.
Bishop spent parts of the past five seasons with the Lightning, reaching the 2015 Stanley Cup Final. He finished second in the Vezina voting in 2016 after getting selected for the All-Star Game.
Bishop also has played for Ottawa and St. Louis.
He spent the 2004-05 season with the NAHL’s Texas Tornado, playing in the same rink that holds the Stars’ training complex in suburban Frisco.
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