Landon Bow’s parents picked a perfect time to visit Boise, Idaho.
While his parents, Darrin and Patty Bow, were in town this week Bow got a call from his agent that the Dallas Stars wanted to offer the 21-year-old goalie an NHL entry-level contract.
Instead of telling his parents over the phone right away, Bow wanted to deliver the news person.
“I was at a team dinner (with the Idaho Steelheads) and I kind of kept them in suspense,” Bow said. “I told them I had some news to tell them, but couldn’t tell them over the phone. They thought I was traded or called up or something. I think it took them a second to believe it was real, and then they were just bouncing off the walls.”
Bow’s two-year NHL contract is something he’s been working toward since the Texas Stars signed him to an AHL contract before this season. The 6-foot-5 goalie wasn’t drafted and didn’t really turn heads in the WHL until his final season when he had a scintillating .938 save percentage and 1.76 goals against average in 23 games with the Seattle Thunderbirds.
The Texas Stars took a flier on the big goalie and he had middling success in the AHL. In 16 AHL games he had a 3.17 goals against average and .894 save percentage before being sent back to Idaho when Dallas traded for veteran goalie Justin Peters.
Bow admits his time in Texas could have gone smoother, but he learned from his mistakes and has thrived as the go-to goalie in Idaho. Bow is now second in the ECHL with a .933 save percentage and 2.15 goals against average in 21 games.
The Steelheads are likely the only playoff-bound team associated with the Stars franchise, and Bow is expected to be a key part of Kelly Cup Playoff push that will start next month.
Bow’s signing signals a re-shuffling of the Dallas Stars prospect depth chart in goal.
Phillippe Desrosiers was supposed to be the heir apparent, but has struggled in both the AHL and ECHL this season. Maxime Lagace was an undrafted free agent turned potential NHL option after last season, but couldn’t find any consistency this season when he had an opportunity to grab the AHL starting job and run with it.
For an organization that has had it’s share of goalie issues, both in the NHL and AHL, Bow could be an answer to a long-term question in the crease.
Bow has NHL size and is self-driven worker. He rarely, if ever, gets direct goalie coaching in Boise and has had to be responsible for his own development most of this season. Even without a goalie coach on a consistent basis, Bow has made the small adjustments and corrections to his game when mistakes show up.
“I knew I had to step up my game and find the things that work,” Bow said. “If you’ve got something that works, keep doing it. If it doesn’t you have to fix it. You need to keep working on the little parts of the game all the time.”
It’s a nice reward for Darrin and Patty, who made the commitment to raising a goalie when Bow as 8-years-old.
“In novice we were always rotated (in goal), and I told my dad, ‘Can you ask the coach if I can play goalie again?'” Bow said. “He was a little surprised and asked me to make sure that’s what I wanted, and playing goalie is expensive, but my dad went and asked (the coach) and now this is where we are.”