Former University of Maine goalie Ben Bishop, who had surgery on Oct. 21 to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee, will not return to the Dallas Stars lineup this season.
He is one of two ex-Black Bears playing in the National Hockey League who underwent a significant offseason surgical procedure.
Columbus Blue Jackets winger Gustav Nyquist had shoulder surgery and has yet to play this season, although he has returned to practice.
Jim Nill, general manager of the Stars, told the Dallas Morning News that Bishop had been expected to return in two weeks, but he had a setback earlier this week so the decision was made to ditch comeback plans.
Specialists told Nill that Bishop needs more time to rehabilitate the knee.
“We just thought this was the best thing for him in the long term. They said we’ve gone this far with it, why risk what we’ve already built up?” Nill said.
The GM said Bishop won’t need another procedure and he should be ready for training camp in the fall.
The 6-foot-7 Bishop, who is 34 years old, is a three-time finalist for the Vezina Trophy given to the NHL’s best goalie. He was a finalist during the 2018-19 season when he was 27-15-2 with a 1.98 goals-against average and a .934 save percentage.
Bishop has played in 413 NHL regular-season games and is 222-128-26 with a 2.32 GAA and a .921 save percentage. He is 29-21, 2.27, .924 in the playoffs.
Nyquist had surgery in early November to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder.
The 31-year-old was Columbus’ second-leading scorer last season with 15 goals and 27 assists in 70 games.
The Blue Jackets who, like the Stars, aren’t in the playoff picture in the Central Division, are ranked seventh in scoring in the eighth-team division.
Columbus coach and former UMaine winger John Tortorella told the independent website 1st Ohio Battery, “we felt this was the year for him to get [the surgery] done because we weren’t sure where the year was going to go as far as the schedule and all.
“Not too many people talk about this guy when you talk about the woes of the club this year. But we certainly miss him. He is a stabilizer for us,” Tortorella said.
Nyquist has been practicing with the team but Tortorella said shoulders take time and hasn’t announced a timeline for his return to game action.
Nyquist has played in 570 regular-season games and has amassed 146 goals and 202 assists for 348 points. He has scored 20 or more goals in a season three times.
Last season, for the first time in his NHL career, he saw steady duty as a penalty-killer.