Dallas Stars: Stephane Robidas

Stars defenseman Stephane Robidas, who has missed the last six games with a foot injury, will return to the lineup tonight when the Dallas Stars play at Nashville.

Robidas was injured in a December 20 practice when he was hit in the foot by a puck.

“It’s been a long time to watch from up top,” Robidas said. “It’s exciting. I am glad to come back.”

Stars coach Glen Gulutzan said he could dress seven defensemen for the game. Jordie Benn would be the seventh guy, so if the Stars go with six defensemen then Benn would be the scratch.

“We’re just trying to see where Robi is this morning and how many minutes he can log,” Gulutzan said. “It will up to Paul (Jerrard) and me. He runs the D and he’s got to be comfortable with the way he is doing things.”

Meanwhile, Predators defenseman Shea Weber will return after missing four games with a concussion. Weber hasn’t played since suffering the injury when he was hit by Stars defenseman Mark Fistric in Dallas 6-3 victory over Nashville on December 23 at American Airlines Center.

Fistric’s hit, which came late in the game, didn’t go over well with the Predators, who thought it should have merited a review by the league. Nothing came of it, though. Fistric was asked about the hit this morning.

“It’s in the past,” Fistric said. “For me, I’ve moved on from it. There was an injury to Weber and you never want to see a guy get hurt. We’ve watched the clip and didn’t think there was anything wrong with the hit itself, and it’s good to see that Weber is back playing. We’ve just got to move forward as a team and put things in the past.”

Here's video of the hit:

The Dallas Stars have activated defenseman Stephane Robidas off injured reserve and assigned defenseman Brenden Dillon back to the Texas Stars of the American Hockey League.

Robidas has missed the last six games with a bruised foot suffered in a practice on December 20. His activation is a sign that he could be ready to return to action when the Stars play at Nashville Thursday.

Dillon was called up earlier this week due to injuries to Robidas, Sheldon Souray and Philip Larsen, but did not play.

Souray, who has an ankle injury, and Larsen, who is experiencing concussion-like symptoms, remain out.

Notes: Stephane Robidas closer to return

January, 3, 2012
DALLAS -- Stars defenseman Stephane Robidas skated for the second consecutive day and said his foot, injured when he was hit by a puck in practice on Dec. 20, feels better.

Stars coach Glen Gulutzan said Robidas was a "possibility" for Thursday in Nashville.

"But we'd rather not play a guy that's 80 or 85 percent, but more like 95 percent," Gulutzan said. "[Robidas] will be one of those guys that's tough to keep out off the ice if he's ready."

Tonight's game with Detroit will be the sixth that Robidas has missed. He said that he can't run and even walking is a bit painful, but with his foot firmly in a skate, he feels OK.

The 34-year-old Robidas admits that he probably needs to look at managing his practice time better. He's a hard worker who practices nearly as hard as he plays. But Gulutzan and general manager Joe Nieuwendyk have talked to him about taking more optional practices off and maybe working out instead of spending so much time on the ice. That might help him a little bit with wear and tear on his body.

"I don't want to face the fact that I'm getting older," Robidas said. "But I am."

Other notes:

* Kari Lehtonen is, of course, in nets tonight. Gulutzan believes he's getting his rhythm as the club plays every second night.

* Brenden Dillon and Jake Dowell are the expected healthy scratches tonight. Toby Petersen is in the lineup (Gulutzan wanted a little more speed and veteran savvy on the ice over someone more physical).

* Jordie and Jamie Benn should be on the ice as teammates tonight. That will make them the sixth brother pair in franchise history to play in the same game as teammates. Derian and Kevin Hatcher were the last to do it.

* A reminder: Tonight's game starts at 7 p.m. on NBC Sports Network (formerly Versus).

Stephane Robidas out tonight

December, 21, 2011
DALLAS -- Stars defenseman Stephane Robidas will miss tonight’s game with the Philadelphia Flyers due to a foot injury.

Robidas was injured in Tuesday’s practice when he took a puck off his foot.

Adam Pardy, who has been a scratch the last six games and ten of the last 13 games, will take Robidas’ spot in the lineup.
It was a long offseason for Dallas Stars defenseman Stephane Robidas. It always is when your team misses the playoffs. And Robidas and the Stars have missed the playoffs three straight years. But the veteran defenseman and some of his teammates are back in town and the anticipation level is high after an offseason of changes that included the signing of several free agents and the hiring of Glen Gulutzan as head coach.

“I’m very excited. Marc Crawford has been very good for me and the team, but I think everybody is excited. We haven’t made the playoffs for three years now. We want to get off to a fresh start,” Robidas said after a recent skate in Frisco. “[The coaching staff] has new ideas and a new philosophy. Not that the other ones weren’t good enough, but it’s a fresh start for everybody.”

While the Stars added seven new players via free agency, which is almost one-third of the roster, Robidas pointed out that many key players from last season remain.

“If you look at the core players, most of the core is still here. That’s a good thing,” said Robidas. “You’ve got a guy like Jamie Benn who has another year under his belt and you’ve got a couple of young defensemen who got another year last year. Everybody is growing as a team. Personally, I am very excited with the changes and I can’t wait to start the season.”

One of those changes comes on defense with the addition of Sheldon Souray, a guy Robidas knows pretty well from his days with the Montreal Canadiens. The two were paired together in Montreal and were a defensive pairing in the 2009 NHL-Star Game in Montreal as well. Robidas said he expects Souray, who spent last season in the AHL, to be highly motivated this season.

“I think it’s a great addition. He’s a good player and he’s a really good guy. He brings a lot to the table,” said Robidas. “Last year was a tough year for him. He wants to prove himself. I’ve talked to him and he’s really excited to come back, having another chance. I think he’ll be a great addition to our team.

“Great shot. He brings some toughness. He’s a big guy, size-wise. He brings something we really didn’t have last year. That’s always a plus when you can add something that’s missing. When you build a puzzle you don’t want all the same piece, you need different pieces and I think he’s another piece of the puzzle.”

The veteran Stars defenseman believes the team added a lot of other pieces during the offseason. Besides Souray the Stars signed forwards Michael Ryder, Vernon Fiddler, Radek Dvorak, Jake Dowell and Eric Godard and defenseman Adam Pardy. While the Stars lost a top end player in Brad Richards, Robidas said the offseason moves helped make the Stars a deeper, more balanced team.

“If you look at our identity, we want to be a team that is hard to play against. If you look at all the signings we had this summer they all fit the role,” said Robidas. “I think we have a lot more depth. It’s established players in the NHL. They know their role; they’ve been doing it for years.”

Robidas said if you want to see an example of the importance of depth just look at last season’s Stanley Cup Playoffs and the Boston Bruins.

“They beat Vancouver, who was supposed to be the best team. But I think [the Bruins] won with their depth,” Robidas said. “Obviously their goalie made a big difference, but if you look down the line they had four lines going. They had really good players, but they didn’t have that superstar. [Zdeno] Chara is a big, strong guy but there is no Sedins or stuff like that. They all played the right way, they played the system. That’s their identity. I think that’s the identity we want to have.

”I don’t want to live in the past, but we want to get back to that whole mentality. I’m not saying that we are going to play defense and sit back. We are going to be aggressive and upbeat. We’re not going to get pushed around. We are going to be able to match up well with the bigger teams. That’s a big plus if you look at our division, especially. You play Anaheim, San Jose, L.A. and Phoenix. They are all big teams. We added some size and some grit. Like I said, I am very excited with the new acquisitions.”
Dallas Stars defenseman Stephane Robidas is the team’s nominee for the 2010-11Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy.

The Masterton Trophy is presented annually to the NHL player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey.

“You think of all the attributes that are described in that award, he symbolizes all of them,” said Stars coach Marc Crawford. “He’s a heart and soul guy. He’s a guy that has great respect in our dressing room. Other teams, when they play against him, they have great respect for him. He plays the game hard. He’s a very competitive guy. He doesn’t take anything for granted. He plays an honest game. To me, those are a lot of the attributes people are looking for when they name Masterton nominees.”

This is third time Robidas has been nominated. He was nominated as a member of the Stars in 2009 and a member of the Montreal Canadiens in 2001.

“It’s an honor for me, every time you get recognition like that,” said Robidas. “I don’t play hockey for prizes or anything like that, but it’s always nice to get the recognition like that. It’s an honor for me to get nominated from the group of guys that we have here. There are a couple of guys that could have deserved to have it too.”

Robidas, a seventh round draft pick of Montreal in 1995, has been on waivers during his career and was once traded for future considerations. He’s turned into a stellar defenseman, an All-Star and was called the most underrated player in the NHL by ESPN at the beginning of this season.

“It’s been a longer road,” said Robidas, who signed with the Stars in 2005 after Chicago didn’t extend him a qualifying offer. “Everybody has a different road. They can play at the NHL level right away and other guys have to go through the minors and work your way up. I am more that kind of guy. I wasn’t the exception player. I had to work my way in and was fortunate to be in a good organization like here that gave me a good chance. They gave me the opportunity to play. I am just thankful to be here.”

The winner will be selected at the end of the regular season by a poll of the 30 chapters of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association. Last year’s recipient was Jose Theodore of the Washington Capitals.

Hardworking Robidas stellar for Stars

November, 9, 2010
Presented with the question of whether Stephane Robidas was a No. 1 defenseman in the NHL, Stars coach Marc Crawford did some quick math.

“Six defensemen on 30 teams, that’s 180 defensemen,” said Crawford. “He’d have to be in the top 30. So, he’s a No. 1. “

Then Crawford trimmed it down some more.

“I think there are only a couple of handfuls of defensemen better than him,” Crawford said.

Robidas’ play and numbers so far this season make a good case. He’s leads the Stars with at 23:03 of ice time per game, ranks third among NHL defensemen with a plus-10 rating, has 8 points (2 goals, 6 assists) and is one of only eight defensemen in the league to register points at even strength, on the power play and shorthanded.

That comes on the heels of a 2009-10 season where he set career marks in goals (10), assists (31) and points (41), and was top 10 in the league in both hits and blocked shots.

"I think he’s a No. 1 defenseman for sure," said Crawford. "He plays against top guys, has the ability to play power play minutes and is an excellent penalty killer. He can play minutes."

When you talk about top defensemen in the league, Robidas’ name isn’t a name that gets mentioned a lot. He was named Mr. Underrated by ESPN heading into this season. Yet, he doesn’t exactly fly under the radar. His invitation to Hockey Canada’s Olympic camp in the summer of 2010 said a lot about how he is regarded by some top people in the game.

For his part, Robidas isn’t too concerned about whether he’s considered a No. 1 defensemen.

“To be honest, I am not trying to be a No. 1, No. 2 or No. 3,” said the 33-year-old Quebec native. “All I am trying to do is do my job and help the team as best as I can.”

Stars defenseman Nicklas Grossman doesn’t seem to be much into putting numbers on things either, but he does think if you had to put a number on it Robidas is a No. 1 and it goes beyond just statistical stuff.

“Yeah, if you have to put a number on it,” said Grossman, who is Robidas’ partner on the blue line. “He is outstanding in everywhere you can think – his commitment to everything and the kind of person he is. To see him out there playing as hard as he does makes everyone else want to play hard. Whenever you feel like you’re having an off day or are a little tired and you see him on the first shift - he gets run or he runs someone and his attitude makes you snap out of it and want to go harder. That’s exactly what you want in a guy and a team.”

And Robidas is a team guy. Talk to him about his status in the league and he turns the talk to the team’s group of defensemen, which many people see as the weak link on the Stars. That’s something Robidas wants to change.

“I keep hearing all over and all the time how as a group we are not good enough,” said Robidas. “As a group our play is something we want to take pride in. It’s a little bit like our team, the whole team. We’re kind of underdogs.”

Being an underdog is something Robidas knows about. He was a seventh round pick by Montreal in 1995 and bounced the league around before finally settling in and blossoming with the Stars after signing with them just after the lockout ended in 2005.

And the better Robidas has gotten the harder he seems to work. He’s often one of the last players off the ice when the Dallas Stars practice. There are times he is the last guy off the ice.

“Somebody asked me the other day what’s my hobby. I said I really don’t have a hobby. All I do is play hockey and I have a family. That’s it. That’s what I like,” Robidas said. “I like to watch hockey. I go to my son’s hockey practice. I can talk about hockey. That’s what I know. That’s what I like doing.”

And as the Stars wrapped up practice Tuesday in Frisco, the last player off the ice?


Stephane Robidas: Mr. Underrated

October, 5, 2010
Scott Burnside has a nice article up about Stars defenseman Stephane Robidas, who has been named to ESPN.com's All-Underrated Team. The article begins:
Stephane Robidas' face is a window to an NHL career.

The face tells the story of a career forged the hard way, a career forged against odds and setbacks. Battered and misshapen, it is the face against which teammates can gauge their own willingness to compete and sacrifice. A face that silently asks: "Am I willing to do that?"

"Count the surgeries on his face and you'll know how he plays," Dallas Stars teammate Brad Richards told ESPN.com on the eve of the regular season. "He battles like I've never seen."

We use the term underrated a lot in the NHL. It usually means someone who doesn't get paid a lot relative to the stars, but quietly performs above and beyond the call of duty. But underrated sometimes applies to someone who makes something of an opportunity, however slender, however long it takes.

This is Robidas. All of it.

The rest of the article is here.