The Dallas Stars could use some help on defense. They will be getting exactly that around the Mar. 5 trade deadline, but it may not be through a trade.
With the trade deadline coming up, General Manager Jim Nill will be working the phones for a defensive upgrade. Despite the trade rumors involving the Stars, Nill may not have to bring in or send away anyone to help his team’s defense. Stephane Robidas broke his leg blocking a shot against the Chicago Blackhawks on Nov. 29. It was originally feared his season would be over, but he has been working hard in an effort to return to the lineup sooner than expected.
Robidas was a critical part of the defensive unit before going down with the injury. Although he will be eased back into the lineup when ready, he should eventually return to his normal position on the top pairing. He can play 20 minutes a night while being matched up against the opponent’s top line. If paired with Brenden Dillon, Robidas can further help the sophomore’s development and perhaps allow his offense to open up a little more. Robidas could also be of some help on the power play, if needed. Before the incident on Nov. 29, he had been very durable despite an incredibly physical style of play. He only missed 18 games over the past six seasons. His veteran leadership and calming presence will be a tremendous help to a defense consisting of three players, 26 years old or younger.
With so many teams still around in the playoff hunt, and hampered by the lowered salary cap, the Stars may have to wait until the summer to bring in a major defensive upgrade. The good news is that in a few weeks, they will receive the help they need without having to lose anyone from their current roster.