BUFFALO, NY — The Buffalo Sabers acquired goalie Ben Bishop in a trade with the Dallas Stars on Friday in a salary cap-related paperwork move involving a veteran who is not expected to play again because of degenerative right knee injury.
The Sabers add the final year of Bishop’s contract, which represents nearly a $5 million cap hit to boost their payroll closer to the NHL’s $60 million minimum. Buffalo, which also acquired a seventh-round pick in next month’s draft, was projected to be nearly $20 million under the cap floor before acquiring Bishop.
The Stars, meanwhile, acquired future considerations from Buffalo to free Bishop’s salary from their books to provide more flexibility to re-sign and add players this offseason.
There is no anticipation the 35-year-old Bishop will resume playing.
Without saying he’s retiring, Bishop announced his career was over in December following a 2½-year saga in dealing with the injury. The decision came after the three-time Vezina Trophy finalist gave up eight goals in a minor league rehab stint only to have his ailing knee swell up again.
The injury first developed during a seven-game second-round series loss to St. Louis in the 2019 playoffs, which led to him having surgery to repair a torn meniscus. The pain persisted the next year, with follow-up surgery revealing the cartilage in the knee had all but worn away.
“I guess one of the hard things is, I get out there and I still feel pretty good in some of the practices and you still feel like you have the skill to play in this league,” said Bishop, who is from Denver and grew up playing youth hockey in St. Louis. “But then when your knee tells you you can’t, it’s tough.”
Bishop hasn’t played an NHL game since allowing four goals on 19 shots in a 6-3 loss to Colorado in the second-round of the 2020 playoffs.
Overall, Bishop has a 222-128-36 record split between five teams over 11 seasons beginning with St. Louis in 2008-09. He also played for Ottawa, Tampa Bay and Los Angeles.
In 2015-16 with the Lightning, Bishop led the NHL with a 2.06 goals-against average.
At 6-foot-7 and 210 pounds, Bishop was the NHL’s tallest goalie and selected by the Blues in the third round of the 2005 draft.