In Ryan Garbutt’s report card, I said that though a bit of a hot head (which every NHL team needs, anyway), the Stars need to keep him for many years to come because he will turn out to be a key face for Dallas that all NHL teams will come to know and fear.
Garbutt truly had a stellar and breakout season, scoring a career high 17 goals and tallying a career high 15 assists. But probably the most surprising thing about Garbutt’s season in Dallas was that he truly found his home, not just in Big D, but on the ice. By this I mean that his part of the new band of youngsters I like to call the Three Musketeers (Garbutt, Eakin, Roussel) was key to the Stars’ second line success this year. These three constantly put on a clinic no matter what team they were up against, and this caused not only great chemistry off the ice, but on the ice as well. This line worked every time they stepped on the ice to the best of their ability and their shift always seemed to entail something entertaining.
Garbutt’s success in the regular season followed him into the postseason, where he netted 3 goals but came up short in the assists department with a grand sum total of 0. His physicality is exciting to watch and is highly encouraged by the Stars who desperately need physical offensive fore-checkers. But with his unmatched physicality in his young body there comes potential setbacks. And they all have to do with one thing: PENALTIES. His penalty minutes were excessive last year and forced Lindy Ruff to have a talk with him and lay down the law which basically said, “You don’t clean up your penalty minutes, you don’t play for the Stars much longer.” So Garbutt cleaned up his game and is now looking like a bright and impressive investment by the Stars, who signed him to a 3 year extension back in January. He could be a very effective player and leader for the Stars down the road.
But that’s just me. Vote here on how YOU feel the Stars should handle Ryan Garbutt this offseason: