After goaltending for over a decade in the NHL, Ben Bishop remains a presence in the league and for the Dallas Stars.
Much like Rich Peverley, Bishop has become a fan favorite in Dallas, going from the ice to the front office.
Today we will look at the past and present in Bishop’s continued NHL career.
Early Days in St. Louis and Ottawa
In the 2005 NHL draft, the St. Louis Blues selected one of the tallest guys to ever play in the net. Big Ben was born into the NHL. Bishop played in the Blues organization from 2008-2012 but could not be a mainstay with his hometown team. He was spending most of his time with the Blues AHL affiliate, the Peoria Rivermen.
Bishop was with the Ottawa Senators for a little less than two seasons. Spending most of his time with the American Hockey League affiliate, the Binghamton Senators, from 2012-2013. In his final year in the Sens organization, Bishop was traded to Tampa Bay, where he established himself as one of the NHL’s best
Juggernaut in Tampa Bay
During his years in Tampa Bay is where Big Ben established himself as one of the elite goaltenders in the NHL. On April 3rd, 2013, Bishop was traded to Tampa from Ottawa for rookie Cory Conacher. A deal that tilted in favor of the Lightning
After the 2013 season, Bishop spent three full seasons with the Lightning. They earned a playoff berth in each season and a Stanley Cup finals appearance in 2015 before losing in six games to the Chicago Blackhawks. During an injury-plagued season in 2017, the Lightning traded Bishop to the Los Angeles Kings to backup Jonathan Quick. Following that season, the netminder found himself on the move again.
Brought Respect Back to Dallas’ Goaltending
After Marty Turco, the Stars struggled in the net. Due to bankruptcy issues, overuse of Kari Lehtonen in 2011-2012, and overall lack of skill in goal after Turco left for the Chicago Blackhawks in 2010. During the summer of 2017, Stars’ general manager Jim Nill made a key signing that continues to impact to this day.
Since Bishop came to Dallas in 2017-2018, the Stars have been regularly seen as one of the top goaltending clubs in the league every year. Anton Khudobin, to be fair, deserves some credit for that too. But Dallas once again began being known for stellar goaltending, starting with Big Ben.
The Transition From Ice to Front Office
Playing a position like a goaltender, and the wear and tear that gets to the knees, such as the butterfly, takes a toll on goalies, especially when you’re 6’7″ tall. Once an NHL goalie, always an NHL goalie. After retirement, Bishop found a new role to continue his NHL career. He was working in player development.
Despite the salary cap dump to the Buffalo Sabres last year, Bishop has been in the Stars’ organization since 2017.
“I love the organization,” Bishop said. “Jim’s been great, and the management here, and I know everybody in the organization, so it’s kind of an easy transition than if you went to a different organization and had to meet everybody from scratch. I feel like I’m a Dallas Star. Obviously, last year I wasn’t technically, but I still felt like a Dallas Star. I just kind of feel like this is home.
“It’s nice to kind of go from one career into the next right away. Obviously, the year off last year was a little adjustment. It’s fun to be back at the rink and be back on the ice with these kids, gets a chance to work with them on the player development side this year, and just looking forward to it.”
Photo: The Sports Daily