Ducks send the fourth they got from Washington to Dallas to acquire Robidas. So, in effect, it's swapping Penner for Robidas.— Eric Stephens (@icemancometh) March 4, 2014
And this, from Mike Heika:
I'm hearing Robidas to Ducks for conditional 4th rounder. It becomes a 3rd if they win two rounds and he plays in 50% of playoff games.— Mike Heika (@MikeHeika) March 4, 2014
Robidas was initially part of the Montreal Canadiens organization, drafted 164th overall in the 1995 NHL Draft, and had a fairly quiet start to his career -- including being a waiver claim by the Atlanta Thrashers in 2002. The Stars acquired Robidas for a sixth-round pick in 2002, and was then flipped to the Blackhawks in 2003 in exchange for John Klemm.
He would enjoy a career resurgence following the lockout, however, signing as a free agent with the Dallas Stars in 2004 and then earning a three-year extension in 2006.
Robidas has been a stalwart on the blueline for the better part of the last decade and has been an absolute warrior on the ice. Stepping into the role as the No. 1 defenseman for the team, even though he's better suited for a second pairing, Robidas ate up big minutes while taking -- and dishing out -- massive hits along the way. He was seriously injured in November against the Chicago Blackhawks, and is still rehabbing from his injury.
The return might seem underwhelming to fans, but keep a few things in mind:
Robidas is currently attempting to return from a severely broken leg, and we've already seen Steven Stamkos struggle a bit in returning when he originally expected to. There's also the fact that Robidas is a pending UFA, and that the Stars are likely trading him based on his own personal desires as far as contracts and his own playing future are concerned.
My sense is Nill likely will get a read off Robidas, both in terms of his health -- there's a thought he could return within two or three weeks -- and what his wishes are in terms of staying put or moving on. I think there's so much respect for what Robidas has done in Dallas that the GM would take the player's lead there.
This wasn't so much about getting maximum value for Robidas, but about doing what is best for the player.
Robidas has been a devoted and loyal warrior for the Dallas Stars, and it's understandable that the Jim Nill would be willing to give him another shot at the playoffs and the Stanley Cup. The Ducks are one of the best teams in the NHL this season, and it was very unlikely that the Stars would have re-signed Robidas this summer. While more than a conditional mid-round pick would have been nice, this is one of those trades where it was unlikely more was ever going to be acquired -- especially given his current injury situation.
It's going to be tough to see Robidas go, and very hard to see him play with any other team than the Stars. It was his brilliant pass that led to the biggest goal by the Stars of the past decade, and certainly the most memorable, and once again we see a key piece of that 2008 team depart. Another sign of the frustration of the past five years of hockey in Dallas.
We wish Robidas nothing but the best in Anaheim, and hopefully he isn't too upset when the Stars bounce the Ducks in the first round.