The Dallas Stars and Ben Bishop are both coming off grueling 2016-17 campaigns, for some of the same reasons. Now they’re hoping to regain their best form, together.
Bishop has been a fixture in the top-10 goalie list for years, and his best is a matter of fairly astonishing public record. But plagued by injuries and waiting months for his inevitable trade from the cap-strapped Tampa Bay Lightning, he finished last season at 29th in the league in wins (18-15-5).
He was eventually traded to Los Angeles and played out what might have been the most depressing season in his career.
"Last year was a little uneasy," Bishop said. "It's no fun waiting around to get traded."
After the Kings missed the playoffs, the Stars acquired Bishop's rights and signed him to a six-year contract extension that averages $4.9 million. That means Bishop, 30, could be starting the final leg of his NHL career in a place where he is hoping to have ultimate success.
He may be in the perfect place, writes Mike Heika: Coach Ken Hitchcock and his emphasis on defending the goalie could give Bish the space to thrive.
So Bishop is entering a situation where he has a six-year contract with a defense-minded coach in a town that makes him comfortable. Just slightly better than last season, right?
"I feel good with these circumstances, because we have a lot of expectations with this team," Bishop said.
There’s more at Mike’s place. [SportsDayDFW]
By the way, Mark Stepneski brings this bit of knowledge for those who’ve worried about the Stars getting pushed around by bigger teams:
According to the latest rosters on the NHL media site, the Stars are tops in the league with an average weight of 210.4 pounds.— Mark Stepneski (@StarsInsideEdge) October 4, 2017
Remind yourself to arrive early for opening night, if you can, and witness the awesome power of the VICTORY GREEN CARPET.
But first, check in with Scott Burnside’s latest Burnside Chat, with special guests Elliotte Friedman of Hockey Night in Canada and Hitch himself. [Dallas Stars]
You can also feed your hype with the opening video in the team’s new Open Ice series:
On The Bench is back for another eppie, and the boys set out to dominate Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn. It did not go well.
Around the league(s)
Hockey is back, and NBC has delivered a beautiful tribute to Dave Strader, one of what is sure to be many.
“He was a Hall-of-Fame announcer, a Hall-of-Fame person, a Hall-of-Fame soul.”— NHL on NBC (@NHLonNBCSports) October 5, 2017
We miss you, Dave. pic.twitter.com/ohVeYbb6z0
Can you believe it’s finally time to recap The Night In #MDK?
- Alex Pietrangelo fired his second goal of the night in OT as the St. Louis Blues ruined the Pittsburgh Penguins’ home opener, 5-4. [St. Louis Post-Dispatch]
- The Winnipeg Jets got shelled in their own season premiere, losing to the Toronto Maple Leafs 7-2. [Arctic Ice Hockey]
At least the Jets started their week well by extending incipient superstar Nikolaj Ehlers to the tune of seven years and $42 million. [ESPN]
Connor McDavid is second in NHL’s modern era (since 1943-44) with a natural hat trick in a season opener (Radim Vrbata on Oct. 3, 2013). pic.twitter.com/Kodu9XxKlX— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) October 5, 2017
McDavid and other talents have Canada believing its Stanley Cup drought is about to end, writes Mark Spector. [Sportsnet]
Forward Bryan Bickell signed a one-day contract to retire with the Chicago Blackhawks yesterday. Diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in November 2016, he’ll now devote his time to MS awareness.
Never forget the time Bryan Bickell saved a man who was struck by lightning.https://t.co/372GHlHEK6— SB Nation (@SBNation) October 4, 2017
Now that Jaromir Jagr is confirmed for another NHL season, Jared Clinton lists the existing records he could blow through during his return.
Jagr’s back, and he’s got his eye on a few more milestones:https://t.co/fnAjx849OL— Jared Clinton (@THNJaredClinton) October 3, 2017
Also at THN: Forget Sidney Crosby and McJesus, says Matt Larkin – Patrik Laine will score 10 more goals than anyone else this season. He’s got four more fire-hot takes here. [THN]
Former Star Ray Whitney has a new challenge on the horizon as the newest member of the NHL’s Department of Player Safety.
Ray Whitney joins Department of Player Safety. https://t.co/Tam02qa8RP— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) October 4, 2017
Sean Leahy used this news as an opportunity to revisit some of The Wizard’s greatest videobombs. (Oh, like you weren’t thinking it.)
Greetings From Cedar Park
Your friendly neighborhood Texas Stars celebrate opening night on Friday, too. Take a look at the scheduled promos for the weekend.
The T-Stars continue to work on finalizing their opening-night roster, assigning forward Max French and defenseman Shane Hanna to the ECHL’s Idaho Steelheads.
Everybody just spend a moment enjoying the heck out of the new #GoStars Twitter emoji. These guys certainly are – and there are more at @DallasStars.