The prize during the 2017 round of free agency, at the goalie position, was former Tampa Bay Lightning and Los Angeles Kings netminder Ben Bishop. After leading Tampa to a Stanley Cup Finals appearance and contending for multiple Vezina Trophies, Bishop was let go by the Kings.
Tampa originally dished Bishop to Los Angeles before the 2017 Trade Deadline, so that Andrei Vasilevskiy could take the starting role. Bishop didn’t have his best stretch in his time with the Kings, playing behind Jonathan Quick.
However, after the Dallas Stars nabbed Bishop last off-season, he’s been great for a team in playoff position in the Western Conference. Bishop posted a .918 save percentage, 2.42 goals against average, and 21-12-3 record so far.
Carolina could have brought in a goalie that still has some prime years left, to replace Ward, and also give the team a big and athletic goaltender. Bishop was a prized get for the Stars in the last round of free agency, and they’ll likely reap the rewards of that.