The Dallas Stars fell in a shootout Friday night to the Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks but lost more than just the extra point. Dallas defenseman Stephane Robidas is out indefinitely with a broken right leg suffered just over halfway through the second period.
Robidas went sliding to the ice and crashing into the end boards behind Kari Lehtonen’s stick side after attempting to cut off a pass from Chicago captain Johnathan Toews during a Blackhawk power play. While the collision didn’t happen at the break neck speeds traditionally associated with these types of injuries, Robidas apparently went into the end boards at the exact wrong angle, causing the fracture. He immediately came up clutching his right leg below the knee. For a player as tough as Robidas to not even attempt to get up, Dallas fans knew bad news was on the horizon.
Officially there is no word yet on how long he will be out, but typically a broken leg can take anywhere from four to six months to heal. Obviously this makes Robidas playing again during the 2013-14 season unlikely. Adding another sting to the Stars, Robidas is an unrestricted free agent next season. If this injury does end up costing Robidas the duration of the season there are certainly going to be questions by the front office if they should re-sign a defenseman who has significant miles on the body and turns 37 going into next season or if he would even want to re-sign in Dallas. NHL general managers have a habit of overspending in free agency, and Robidas could want to try to cash in on the open market. It is a possibility that the longest tenured member of the Stars has played his last game in a Dallas uniform.
Furthermore, this also robs Dallas of the option of potentially trading Robidas this season. Robidas is a very underrated defenseman, who is third on the team with a plus seven rating and in time on ice (19:54). He could have potentially fetched a decent return should the Stars have wanted to ship him off to a team that felt it was only a piece or two away from challenging for the Cup.
This is a huge loss for Dallas as Robidas was the leader of the defense and played on the top defensive pair with Brenden Dillon against the opponent’s top line. His leadership, tenacity and determination will be tough to replace. Dallas will likely recall Kevin Connauton, and Aaron Rome would be a good bet to crack the lineup.
As always, I welcome your comments. If you think I’m wrong, I’m willing to listen. Just back it up with some facts and solid evidence. Thanks for reading and good luck this season.
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