We now turn our attention to the forward group in our player reviews. For previous reviews, check out the Stars blog right here on ESPNDallas.com.
Today's player: Krys Barch
The 6-foot-1, 222-pound Barch isn't afraid to scrap it up with anyone. No, he isn't Steve Ott, who annoys opponents to know in with his creative language and underrated skill. But Barch is an imposing force with his body and he'll use it when necessary.
Barch was inserted into the lineup on the fourth line on those games that Stars coach Marc Crawford wanted a forceful, physical presence and ability to rough it up, if necessary.
Barch was second only to Ott in penalty minutes on the Stars in 2009-10 with 130. And he did it in 63 games. He did add six assists. Barch averaged about seven minutes of ice time per game, some of that time filled with throwing punches and getting into scraps. He did that job well, trying to pull his team into a more physical game or alter the momentum of things with a timely fight that worked the crowd.
Barch, 30, just completed his fourth season in Dallas. He played 72 games in 2008-09 and had 9 points, both career-highs in the NHL. He didn't have quite the same production this season, but he did see a little more ice time. It will be interesting to see what the Stars do with Barch. He's an unrestricted free agent and they must decide if they want his presence on the team as a depth forward next season or if they look at some other alternatives (and cheaper options of they're out there).
What did you think of Barch? Do you think he should return next season?