2013 Dallas Stars Season In Review: Lane MacDermid

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The big left winger crashed and banged his way into a roster spot with the Stars

When writing a season in review article about a fourth-line player than only dressed for nine contests throughout the season and averaged a little over 5 minutes of ice time per game, normally there wouldn't be a heck of a lot to say.

But when you were part of a mid-season trade involving the legendary Jaromir Jagr, and then score goals in your first two games with your new team, well...then there's a little more to talk about.

That's exactly the case with 23 year-old left winger Lane MacDermid, who came to Dallas from the Boston Bruins as part of the Jagr trade and then immediately went to work on the Stars' fourth line.

Now, before I go any further, let's get the obvious controversy out of the way.

Yes, the return that Dallas received from Boston in exchange for Jagr, a package containing MacDermid, OHL prospect Cody Payne, and a conditional draft pick that will be either Boston's 1st rounder or 2nd rounder depending on how far the Bruins go in the playoffs, is not as good as what Stars fans were hoping for. Many felt, and still feel, that then-general manager Joe Nieuwendyk could have gotten a lot more for the 41 year-old future Hall Of Famer, although we'll likely never know for sure.

Even though the draft pick, not MacDermid, was the centerpiece of Dallas' return, that trade will be a negative mental asterisk that will probably stick to the big left winger for the entirety of his tenure in Dallas, though no fault of his own, and that's simply a shame. Alex Goligoski certainly knows that feeling.

However, even though the Stars didn't receive a premium return for Jagr, they certainly added an interesting asset in MacDermid, one that could become another important piece of the puzzle as Dallas continues to build their foundation for the future.

When it comes to MacDermid, what you see is pretty much what you get, and what Stars fans saw during his short six-game stint at the end of the season is what they should expect to see more of. Big, strong and not afraid to throw his weight around, MacDermid plays the role of a prototypical fourth line grinder. He'll hit with impunity, go to the dirty areas of the ice, and drive the net with reckless abandon.

He's not strictly an enforcer, in the Krys Barch kind of mould, but he certainly isn't hesitant to drop the gloves, as seen with his tilt with Columbus' Jared Boll, his only fight so far as a Star:

Surprisingly, MacDermid shocked everyone in his first two games with the Stars, scoring his first career NHL goal in his Dallas debut and then adding his second the very next game, both against the Anaheim Ducks.

Does he possess some hidden, untapped offensive potential? Highly unlikely. His career high for points in a season is only 35, and that came as a veteran 19 year-old playing in the OHL.

What he does possess, though, is above-average foot speed for a player of his size and role. It's no secret by now that the Stars are going full speed ahead with the "north-south" playing style and team identity, and MacDermid's particular skillset is certainly complementary to it.

His second goal came as a result of that playing style, as he barreled down the middle of the ice and then lifted this cheeky backhand past Viktor Fasth.

That was the end of that, though, as MacDermid then failed to register a shot or a point over his final four games. It's obvious that offensive production from him will never be expected, but he could certainly be the benefactor of a few more of those types of goals if he continues to buy into Dallas' new system.

In the end, MacDermid's brief Stars debut wasn't spectacular, but it showed a nice glimpse of what might come. Ask a Bruins fan about Shawn Thornton or an Ottawa Senators fan about Chris Neil and they'll be full of praise, as character guys like that always seem to find their way onto successful teams. While many of these types of players fade into the abyss and are never seen again, Stars management clearly hope that MacDermid can reach the level of a Thornton or Neil, even if it wasn't an ideal situation when they got him.

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