The Ducks’ top line winger Corey Perry might have been one of them. While the new NHL realignment no longer sees the Ducks and Stars as division rivals, plenty of games in previous seasons have brought enough bad blood between the two to raise the question, “How is this going to work, exactly?”
In many of those games, Perry and Robidas have had anything but friendly chemistry. In fact, when Perry was interviewed about the acquisition this past week, the work “hate” was even used. However, the two players are more importantly professionals in the same sport with the same goal — to win the Stanley Cup.
And a like-minded endgame means Perry and Robidas probably have a bit more in common than they do differences, all of this proven on Thursday morning with the ultimate cease-fire in hockey: a handshake.
Robidas, who played 704 out of 871 career games with the Stars, had four goals and one assist in Dallas before suffering a broken tibia and fibula during a game against the Chicago Blackhawks less than two months into the current season. Last week gave news that Robidas was looking to return, as No. 19 for the Ducks in the middle of March. His recovery comes at no better time for Anaheim, a team currently looking to finish strong, perhaps even as the top team in the NHL before the playoffs in April.
Regardless of where Anaheim will finish in the standings, Robidas’ true value will come to light once those final games in the race for the Cup begin. He not only brings a much-needed right-handed shot to the Ducks’ lineup, but also the intangible of grit. In addition to suffering from his current injuries, he has weathered a broken nose, broken jaw and numerous hits — most likely all initiated by him.
Such stamina from Robidas has him bringing a tough game to whichever line he is asked to play with, a factor Anaheim sorely lacked during last season’s playoffs.
While Robidas will forever be the guy you don’t want to run into on the ice — Perry is probably the first person to tell you that — what better way for the Ducks to rid themselves of such a factor than to bring him along for the ride?