For the past 14 months, Dallas Stars goaltender Ben Bishop has been working towards a return to the ice after undergoing surgery to repair a torn meniscus in October of 2020. Sadly, it is not to be, and the three-time Vezina Trophy finalist's career is now over.
According to a report by Matthew DeFranks of the Dallas Morning News, Dallas Stars general manager Jim Nill stated that Ben Bishop's degenerative knee injury is career-ending, and he will remain on the team's long-term Injured Reserve. The news comes two days after Bishop, who has been on a conditioning stint with the Texas Stars of the AHL, returned to playing only to give up eight goals on 34 shots.
"It's no secret, he has a degenerative knee injury, and he went down there, he wanted to be a big part of this," Nill said. "He wanted to do everything he could to get back. In the end, by going through the process, going down there and playing, he found out that it's the end of his career."
Bishop, 35, was recalled from his conditioning loan and will remain on long-term Injured Reserve until his contract expires in the summer of 2023. He is scheduled to speak to the media on Tuesday.
Bishop's knee injury ends his career after over a decade playing in the NHL for five different franchises. Originally the No. 85-overall pick by the St. Louis Blues in the 2005 NHL Draft, Bishop was called up in 2008 and went on to play for the Ottawa Senators, Tampa Bay Lightning, Los Angeles Kings, and the Stars. Bishop was a three-time finalist for the Vezina Trophy, finishing second twice in 2015-16 and 2018-19. Bishop played in one Stanley Cup Final in 2015, which the Lightning lost 4-2 to the Chicago Blackhawks.
Bishop had not played in the NHL since the 2019-20 season, missing all of last season recovering from knee surgery before attempting to play again on conditioning loan. Bishop was eligible to play in three AHL games, but made the decision to end his career after Thursday night's game.
"He's the one that said 'No, that's it,'" Nill said. "In the end, he's the one that had to make that decision. I don't know how he feels. All I know is I watched the performance. He's the one that knows."
Bishop will finish his career with a .921 save percentage, which ranks fifth all-time among goalies with at least 300 games played. The four goalies ahead of him -- Dominik Hasek, Johnny Bower, Ken Dryden, and Tuukka Rask -- are all in the Hockey Hall of Fame.