The Dallas Stars have busy since their season ended, and their offseason has barely begun.

First came the nostalgic embrace of Ken Hitchcock as Lindy Ruff's replacement atop the coaching staff.

And now, in a move that can only be interpreted as a step toward restoring the Stars as an immediate playoff contender, Dallas has found itself a long-awaited upgrade in net.

The Stars sent a fourth-round draft pick -- acquired from the Canadiens in the Jordie Benn trade earlier this spring -- to the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for the one and only Ben Bishop, who has now been dealt twice in the last three months after his departure from the Tampa Bay Lightning in February.

Bishop, of course, was traded to L.A. in part because he is set to hit free agency in July. And so Dallas, by coughing up a draft pick for the 30-year-old goalie, has essentially committed itself to giving Bishop a new contract.

But it's not as if either the trade or the contract extension it likely signifies are unwarranted for a Stars team that ranked near the bottom of the league this season in goals allowed per game. The argument can be made that Dallas should have been eyeing an upgrade over Antti Niemi and Kari Lehtonen long before this offseason, and reeling in Bishop, whose 270-game career includes postseason experience, marks an immediate improvement.

The Carolina Hurricanes may have set the precedent for loading up on free agents-to-be when they landed Chicago Blackhawks goalie Scott Darling in late April and then inked the veteran to a new contract no more than a week later.