Dec 27, 2013; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Stars defenseman Aaron Rome (27) and right wing Valeri Nichushkin (43) wait for play to begin against the Nashville Predators during the game at the American Airlines Center. The Stars defeated the Predators 4-1. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Aaron Rome: Dallas Stars Season Ending Report Cards

Happy Thursday everybody! Hope your week has gone good and hope everyone is ready for the weekend!

I hope everyone is enjoying the polls and I just want you to know I am loving seeing how y’all feel regarding each player. Please, please, please keep on voting! You have no idea how much it brightens a 17 year old’s day to see people voting on a poll he made!

Well, in the meantime, here is the next report card on #27, Aaron Rome:

Aaron Rome signed with the Dallas Stars on the first day of free agency during the summer of 2012 and has been an on and off starter for the Dallas Stars’ defense ever since.

Season recap:

There isn’t really much to say about Aaron Rome’s second season in Dallas. After he played a lockout season that included 27 of 48 games played with 0 goals on the board and 5 assists totaled at the end of his season, his overall performance can be viewed as average.

This past season was a different story. After experiencing an injury in the preseason, just 3 days before the Stars opened up against the Florida Panthers, Rome was sidelined and put on the IR until his hip had completely healed, and then was sent to the AHL and the Texas Stars for a “conditioning assignment” (which basically meant that they liked how their defense had shaped out and didn’t have space for him). When he finally got his name called on December 12th, 2013 to fill in against the Predators for his first major league start since April 27th, 2013, things started to head downhill. Over his 25 game performance in the regular season, the 30 year old registered 1 assist against St. Louis in an average of 13 minutes on the ice per game. These numbers, as you can see, aren’t too attractive.

Playoff recap:

Well, don’t get too excited. Aaron only started 1 game of the Stars’ 6 game playoff journey and well, that’s about it. No goals, no assists and a -1 rating in 9 minutes on the ice. But as I said in Jordie Benn’s report card, defensemen should be focused on protecting their goalie, not being the flashy goal scorer. Still, his numbers for the 2013-14 season are inexcusable.

Contract situation:

When Rome left the Vancouver Canucks back in 2012 and signed with the Stars on the first day of the official offseason, he inked a 3 year deal with the Dallas Stars with a salary of $1,300,000 for his first year, eventually changing to $1,600,000 for the last 2 years of it. This means that Rome is still a Star until the end of next season, when he will become a UFA, barring any trades before then.

In my opinion:

By the numbers, I’m not sure if Aaron Rome is worth half of his contract.

Now, as I have said before, D-men are not supposed to be by-the-numbers kinds of people, but there is a limit to that statement. Rome needs to have some sort of contribution to the Stars offensive efforts. And 1 assist is nowhere near what they need from him, along with every other defenseman on the team. But every other blue liner DOES produce the necessary numbers while Aaron Rome has yet to produce a goal in a Stars uniform. And 6 assists in 52 games is nothing to gawk at either.

So, in my opinion and conclusion, Rome probably needs to go. It’s the best move for both parties. If Rome were to stay with the Stars, he would be fighting with other guys, most much younger than him, for a chance to play even in an IR spot, which would most likely mean that Rome would be the healthy scratch on the Stars bench all season or that he would be sent to Austin for the year. With the Stars looking for a Top 2 D-man, that would fill the last gap they need to complete their blue-line scheme and be set going forward. This scheme would most likely not include Rome, unless the Stars trade 2 of their current defensemen for 1 big name and leave 2 spaces open, and even then, those spots could be filled by Patrik Nemeth and Kevin Connauton or Jamie Oleksiak before Rome’s name even comes into thought.

And I’m pretty sure that at the age of 30, Rome does not want to be stuck in the AHL with a bunch of thumb-suckers and nose-pickers (maybe I went too far back in the age description). So it’s basically spot in Big D or bust. And with Dallas’ defensive roster almost complete, it doesn’t look like Rome will be finding himself playing alongside the big boys in the coming year. Unless he improves tremendously in training camp, but with the age dilemma, his days of improving are just about over, what we’ve seen is probably what we are going to get.

So, I think that Rome has served well in his last 2 seasons, but that he would honestly be a better fit in another jersey. But I could be wrong, so don’t hold your beliefs to what I say, please.

The bottom line on Aaron Rome:

In Aaron Rome’s 2 years in Dallas, his physical play has prevailed while his help on the offensive side of the puck has yet to make an appearance.

The Stars could keep him. With his experience as well as his physicality boost to the blue line, they could hold on to Rome for the last year of his contract and decide what they are going to do a year from now. But if they are planning on keeping him, he’ll most likely have to sit and watch. With the new and talented faces in the Stars’ defensive arsenal, along with the search for a big name defender to complete the plot coming this July, there won’t be much, if any, room for Rome to participate. Is he really ready for another season of being the scratch and filling in for injuries, totaling out to around 10-15 games a year? I don’t think that’s what the 30 year old NHLer’s do, I think that’s what the 18 year old NHLer’s are meant for. And there is no way he is going to be sent to play for the Texas Stars, it just will not happen.

They could also stick him to the trading block. With 1 year left on an average salary for a defender in his glory years, some teams would definitely come knocking. If they were truly looking for a defender to help improve their rebuild phase or someone to compliment a big name defender they already have, the Stars could send off Rome for a 2nd line center or potential defenseman. This would help give Rome a chance to play an 82 game season for the first time in his career, and I’m sure he would enjoy that. Plus, the Stars would be thriving off a sharpshooter deal made by Jim Nill for the second summer in a row that would bring a lifesaver on the blue line to Dallas, helping them prep for a possible Cup run.

The Stars have made no comment on Rome’s future yet, as they shouldn’t, just like every player that isn’t a UFA. But I am spit-balling, as I always do, and you must be getting sick of it already. But we will have to see how Rome’s future pans out come July 1st.

Quick note in Stars’ UFA news: The Stars have made it known that Ray Whitney and Tim Thomas will NOT, I repeat NOT, be returning to Big D next year, while Vernon Fiddler will test the free agency waters first and if nothing surfaces that pleases him and the Stars still have room, a contract will be worked out between the 2 sides.

I also wanted to thank all of you real quick for reading these posts. I mean the hour forty-five or so I spend on each article means nothing when I see that I’m actually getting viewers and living out my dream with people noticing. So thanks again for all the times y’all live with my babbling, it really means the world to me.

So back to focus, we’ll see how the Stars handle Aaron Rome sooner or later. Comments if you got em and GO STARS.

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