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Stephane Robidas is Stars' Masterton nominee

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.