We're expecting the Stars to possibly name a new captain heading into the 2013 season. We begin a look at the top candidates with Stephan Robidas.
The Brenden Morrow trade opened up much more than just a roster spot; he was an incredible leader who bled black and gold for his entire tenure with the team and played true Dallas Stars hockey. he exemplified the hard working, never-say-die teams that he captained for much of his career.
On top of that, there is a bit of a mystery surrounding the team as two who the heir-apparent is. Many think it's Jamie Benn, but many others feel as though he's not quite ready to take on the responsibility of a captain in the National Hockey League. Since there isn't a clear choice at the moment, the Stars boast a few players who could make strong arguments for their appointment to the position.
One of those players is Stephane Robidas.
The wily 36 year old veteran has been a staple of the Dallas Stars defensive unit since returning to the club for a second stint back in 2006. He's played a total of 10 seasons for the Stars over his career and has worked his way up from a guy who was told he would never make it to one of the most reliable defensemen in the league.
He's not flashy - nobody will ever mistake him for Shea Weber - but he plays a very solid, consistent game with the physicality of someone twice his size. He even has some good offensive skills which, unfortunately, don't shine enough because of the need for him to play shut down defense on a unit that doesn't have any one else who can specialize in that.
Robidas seems like he would fit the position because he most exemplifies the same kind of style that Brenden Morrow brought to this team. He makes up for being less talented by giving 110% effort every time his skates hit the ice. Stars fans (myself included) have complained a lot about him over the course of this playoff drought, but that's no fault of his. Robidas is the perfect third or fourth defensive player, but because of the Stars lack of defensive depth at the NHL level, he's been forced to play the role of the number one guy for a few years. He's performed admirably in these duties and has done better than most second pairing defensemen would, but the truth remains that he was never a top line guy.
Furthermore, Robidas has worn an 'A' on his sweater for a few years now and is a respected leader in the locker room. A captain needs to know what he's talking about and be respected in the locker room. Robidas has proved that he's just that time and time again.
He plays with the heart of a lion and would be a perfect mentor for the Stars as they look to get younger. A lot of Brenden Dillon's success in his first year in the NHL can be attributed to being mentored and helped by Robidas, both on and off the ice.
While he could make a great captain, there are a few things working against Stephane Robidas.
First off, his age: Robidas is 36 years old, which may not seem like a big deal wince 30 is the new 20 in the NHL. However, like Morrow, his style of play has created some major wear and tear on his body over the years. He plays so physically and will do anything to help the team. but because of that he's been knocked around and bruised up more than the average player over the course of his career. Because of this, he may not have the longevity that the Stars would be looking for and we don't want the new captain of the Stars to turn into the next Ethan moreau.
Another factor working against Robidas is the fact that he has been potential trade bait over the last couple of years. He is one of the more valuable assets the Stars have in a good trade scenariou were to arise. That might hurt his chances for the captaincy since the Stars are probably looking for someone to really lead the team into the future, and a captain who could be shipped off in the next couple of years wouldn't be ideal.
Stephane Robidas would make a great captain for the Dallas Stars. However, this match would have been perfect if the spot was open few years ago, as Robi has a ton of mileage on his body, and as one of the oldest veterans on a team looking to get younger and faster he could be one of the Stars' best bargaining chips for a trade.