A reminder that you can view the rest of our 2009-10 player reviews on the Stars blog.
Today's player: Stephane Robidas
Robidas, 33, earned his spot as the No. 1 defenseman on the Stars this past season. At at 5-11 (that may be generous), 193 pounds, Robidas doesn't exactly intimidate with his size. But he definitely makes up for it with his toughness. Robidas isn't afraid to deliver a hard check or go into the not-so-pleasant areas of the rink to attempt to grab the puck.
Robidas was paired mostly with Nicklas Grossman this season, forming a solid blueline duo. He played in all 82 of the Stars' games and had 41 points, including 31 assists. He was minus-10 and averaged a team-high 24:29 of ice time.
Robidas has earned the trust and confidence of his teammates thanks to his hard play and consistency. Not only do they know he'll be on the ice every night, but they trust that he'll do so with limited mistakes.
Robidas also helps the team on special teams, averaging equal ice time on the penalty kill and at the point on the power play. Seven of Robidas' 10 goals came on the power play.
In the dressing room, Robidas provides an important leadership role. He's an alternate captain and will speak his mind when necessary. He's one of a handful of players that general manager Joe Nieuwendyk hopes will take an even larger responsibility in the room with the veteran presence of Marty Turco gone and possibly Mike Modano too.
Robidas received a contract extension this season because Nieuwendyk considers him one of the building blocks of his team in terms of his attitude, work ethic and on-ice ability. He should be fun to watch in the coming years.