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Stars Protection List Offers No Surprises After Earlier Reports of Bishop Left Exposed

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The expansion draft is Wednesday, and NHL rosters are frozen outside of trades with Seattle until then.

NHL: Player Headshots 2020 Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The NHL released the official expansion protection lists for Wednesday’s expansion draft, where the Seattle Kraken will begin to form their team.

For the Dallas Stars, the biggest surprise came earlier than this morning when reports came out that Ben Bishop had approached the team about leaving him exposed for the expansion draft in order to use the goalie protection spot on Antoin Khudobin. Bishop has a no-move clause which he specifically waived for the expansion draft in order to be left unprotected by the club.

Undoubtedly, his current recovery from knee procedures that kept him out of action all of last year is a consideration for this approach by Bishop and the Stars. They’re likely banking on other, more-reliably-healthier goaltenders being available that may be more enticing to the new expansion club than Bishop that will allow the team to keep their top-five tandem from the last few years intact.

At forward, the Stars protected Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin, and Alexander Radulov (all with no-move/no-trade clauses) as well as Radek Faksa, Denis Gurianov, Roope Hintz, and Joe Pavelski. On defense, Miro Heiskanen, John Klingberg, and Esa Lindell were protected.

NHL regulars and contributors from the last few years that could be available to Seattle include Blake Comeau, Tanner Kero, Joel L’Esperance, Taylor Fedun, Andrej Sekera, and Nick Caamano. There are also some interesting pending unrestricted free agents Seattle could choose to sign that would count as the pick from Dallas, like Jamie Oleksiak, Andrew Cogliano, and Sami Vatanen.

The expansion draft will be televised on Wednesday night at 7 CDT on ESPN2.