Veteran defenseman Stephane Robidas was traded to the Anaheim Ducks a day before the deadline. He was dealt for a conditional fourth-round pick in the upcoming draft that could turn into a third-round pick if the Ducks play in two rounds and Robidas plays in half of the games. If the Stars end up getting the fourth-round pick, it will the Washington Capitals’ pick the Ducks acquired in exchange for Dustin Penner earlier in the day. Robidas has been out with a leg injury since Nov. 29, but he is expected to return within the next two weeks. He had been working hard to return to the lineup and had even participated in drills with the team for the past couple of weeks.
Robidas’ name was not prevalent in trade rumors, but it had surfaced a few times due to his age and expiring contract. He would have provided a tremendous boost to the Stars’ defense as an experienced, right-handed defenseman who could play big shut-down minutes against the opponents’ top line. Instead, the Stars will continue forward with their current unit involving seven defensemen.
The trade does more for Robidas than it does for Dallas, but general manager Jim Nill found a middle ground that benefits both the team and the player. The Stars were looking to the future and knew they would not re-sign a 37-year-old defender when they have several young defenders at near-NHL level in the minors. In Anaheim, Robidas has a chance to ease back into the lineup from his injury. He can eventually pair up with former teammate Francois Beauchemin, and he has another former teammate in Mark Fistric to help him get acclimated more quickly.
In comparison to the past couple of seasons, Robidas may have been worth much more than a fourth-round pick. The market seems to have settled a little more this season, and the conditional pick lines up reasonably for a player of Robidas’ age paired with his current injury status. The Ducks are expected to make a deep playoff run this year, so there is a good chance the Stars will be getting the third-round pick. Either way, the Stars will have nine picks in the upcoming draft.
Robidas leaves the Stars having tallied 211 points in 704 over 11 seasons. More importantly, he did whatever he had to do to help the team win on a nightly basis, he earned the respect of the players and management and served as a mentor to the future defensemen of the Stars. His hard-nosed style of play, strong will and leadership will remain with the team well-after Robidas’ departure.
It is a shame that Robidas will not finish the season with the team he has given so much to. Then again, Robidas is getting a much-deserved chance to join a Stanley Cup contender, and the Stars found a way to help their future at the same time.