Ben Bishop made a shocking move the other day when he agreed to waive the No-Movement Clause (NMC) in his contract.
The Dallas Stars can now protect Anton Khudobin in the Seattle Kraken Expansion Draft when they were unable to until Bishop waived his NMC.
Bishop has a long history of injuries and now may have played his last game in front of Stars fans over a year ago. The scenarios leave lots to the imagination.
Who is their #1 goalie? Seattle selects their team on Wednesday, July 21, 2021, so General Manager Jim Nill must decide. They can only protect one goaltender, so it’s either Bishop or Khudobin.
Jake Oettinger is exempt from the draft as he is a “first or second-year professional.” Oettinger is a proven #2 goalie to provide relief should one or the other leaves.
Before waiving his NMC, Bishop required protection. This would have guaranteed Khudobin’s exposure to selection. This is not the case anymore, as Bishop waived his NMC. Now Nill must choose who to protect.
The reason to keep Bishop is that he’s a proven goaltender with playoff experience. He is six months younger than Khudobin at 34 years of age. This could be another Marc-Andre Fleury situation. The Pittsburgh Penguins also had a tough choice in the 2017 Expansion Draft. They decided to protect the young future #1 goaltender in Matt Murray and exposed Fleury. Fleury took the Golden Knights to a Stanley Cup Final appearance in their first season of existence. Murray now plays for the Ottawa Senators. It’s not the same situation but still something to think about. Bishop is still a #1 goaltender when he is healthy.
To keep Khudobin, he is a proven goaltender capable of going far in the playoffs. His play in the 2020 playoffs was phenomenal after Bishop went down due to injury. He is a proven #1 goaltender that backstopped the Stars to a Stanley Cup Final appearance. Both Bishop and Khudobin are the #1 goaltenders, with Oettinger backing them up.
Thinking from Seattle’s perspective, is Bishop worth the gamble?
They may not see it that way, but he is. Now from the Stars’ perspective, can they risk dangling Bishop as bait? The Khudobin/Oettinger duo last season proved to be 8th best in goals-against-per-game at 2.64. The Stars may be ready to part ways with Bishop and expose him in the draft. He still is a solid goaltender despite the long list of injuries. He missed the entire 2020-2021 season, so his injury problems are always a concern.
To Bishop or not to Bishop, that is the question. The news of Bishop waiving his NMC leaves even more questions than answers.
We will soon find out in the following days. Most roads now point to Bishop going to Seattle.
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