Today I’m returning to the Buy Or Sell series, where I’ve been looking over the Stars’ options heading into the NHL trade deadline and which players might be movable. After covering Brenden Morrow and Nicklas Grossman, tonight I will look at Stephane Robidas and next week I will return with a post about the team before two more player articles.
Despite the win last night in Columbus, the Dallas Stars are still sitting just outside of the final playoff spot in the West. And now with the schedule heating up, the team could be without captain Brenden Morrow for a while. So while the team is still fighting for wins and points, things continue to stack up against this Stars team and how they are playing. So the next two weeks really could still decide if the Stars end up being buyers or sellers this year. But with the trade deadline coming up on February 27th, the clock is ticking for decisions to be made.
One of the players that has been brought up by members of the fanbase, media, and even me in the past: veteran defenseman Stephane Robidas. While “Robi” has been one of the most underrated Stars for many years, he has also built a strong following over the years. While Robidas spent quite a few years in the league before getting noticed, he has earned a reputation for his toughness, defensive play, and willingness to do anything for his team. Since bouncing around and even getting trade by the Dallas Stars after a short stint here, Robidas has found a home in Dallas and has been one of the noticeable players on defense since the 2005-2006 season.
But with everything, there is a business side. While Robidas has played his heart out for over six seasons with the franchise, the team is in a state of change. Robidas is about to turn 35 years-old in under a month and on a team that is slowly changing over to a new direction, Robi might now fit in Dallas long-term.
While Robi’s contract is a little pricey at $3.3 million a year, he could be a nice addition to a contending team. His knowledge and leadership could be very valuable to a big team like Chicago, St. Louis, Philadelphia, Detroit, or even Florida. For many teams that will be looking for defensive help and grit, Stephane Robidas could provide a 2nd line defenseman that could be a big addition for a strong team. But the issue might be his contract. After this season, the Stars are still on the hook for two more seasons, paying him until he is 37. For the price tag he could be a strong piece for a team with the money and space to use, but paying a guy over $3 million until he is 37 is not something some teams will do.
Of course the Stars have to consider if they even want to move him. From blocking shots, to delivering checks, to smart plays, and even some offensive and powerplay abilities, Robidas can do a lot and has for this team. But with the team not just a piece or two away from competing for a title, it might be best for the Dallas Stars to see what type of youth they could get back for him. I have to say I’ve enjoyed watching him over the years. He plays with more heart than almost any player, he is tougher than everyone in my book, and is a true silent leader. But at this point he might only have a couple of seasons left in the NHL, and the Stars are a couple of years away from contending. If GM Joe Nieuwendyk can get a good young piece for him or even a nice high pick, I think he should go for it unless the Stars power their way into a strong spot over the next two weeks.