Ben Bishop thought of what was best for the team when he approached the Dallas Stars offering to waive his no-move clause.
The 34-year-old told Mike Heika from NHL.com that it was an easy decision to make, considering where the team stands ahead of next week’s expansion draft that will see the Seattle Kraken select one player from each team in the league with the exception of Vegas.
“The situation I’m in, the situation the team is in, it just made sense,” Bishop said in an interview with Heika. “It wasn’t a hard decision to make, I know they wanted to protect (Anton Khudobin).”
Expansion-draft rules dictate that teams can only protect one goaltender.
As Bishop has battled injuries in the course of his career, he sat the entire 2020-21 season, leaving Khudobin and rookie Jake Oettinger to share the workload in net. The 22-year-old Oettinger is in an entry-level contract, which makes him exempt from the expansion draft.
Khudobin missed some time due to COVID-19 last season, but the 35-year-old had a stellar 2019-20 season, leading the league in save percentage (.930) and posting a 2.22 goals-against average. Bishop weighed that in when making the decision to waive his no-move clause.
“It was orchestrated by (Bishop) because of the uncertainty of his status and because he wanted to help the organization,” Stars general manager Jim Nill said. “He hasn’t really played in a year and a half, and he knows what Anton has done for us, so I think he just decided this is what’s best for everyone.”
Bishop and Dallas’s hope, according to Heika, is that the goalie’s injury trend makes him a less-than-attractive candidate for the Kraken. But he is reportedly healthy and skating in the off-season.
“We’re just going to have to take it day by day as far as the rehab process goes, and then decisions will be made,” Bishop said of his injury struggles. “It’s just really step by step. It’s frustrating, but I’ve fought through a lot so far and I understand it’s a slow process.”