Dallas Stars 2013-2014 Season Grades: Ryan Garbutt

Ronald Martinez

The speedy winger made a huge splash in Dallas this season, but not always for the right reasons

Once again it's that time of year here on Defending Big D where we take a look at each player that suited up for ~20 or more games this season (and finished the season with the team) - and take a look back at their season. What was good about it, what wasn't so good, and the lasting impression they left us as we go into summer.

Regular season statistics:

GP G A Pts PIMs +/- TOI Corsi Rel OZ Starts
75 17 15 32 106 +10 13:03 +2.2% 44.4%

Playoff statistics:

GP G A Pts PIMs +/- TOI Corsi Rel OZ Starts
6 3 0 3 25 +2 11:57 -2.6% 48.9%

Key stat: 17 - The number of goals that Garbutt scored this season, good enough for 3rd on the team, behind only Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin.

The good: Expected to only play a depth checking role heading into this season, Garbutt showcased a surprising offensive side, providing secondary scoring that played a crucial role in helping the Stars make the postseason. Was regularly used on a "second line" with Cody Eakin and Antoine Roussel and held his own. One of the fastest skaters in the league, Garbutt's speed made him a threat whenever he found a little open ice. Was reliable defensively and on the penalty kill.

The bad: Penalties, penalties, penalties. In the game of hockey some penalties are acceptable, and some others are unavoidable...the problem for Garbutt is that far too many of his were neither. Too many penalties either came at crucial points in the game, or deep in the offensive zone where they should almost never happen. His spear of Corey Perry in Anaheim in Game 5, for example, was a very poor decision, and it had the Stars scrambling to start the game in a hostile road environment, a game that they would eventually lose.

Bottom line: Ryan Garbutt plays with a notable edge, which can be both a good and bad thing depending on whether he's on the right or wrong side of the line. That being said, Garbutt fits perfectly into Lindy Ruff's new system of speed, aggression and hard work, and can help out the Stars in multiple different ways. If Garbutt can continue to harness his speed and intensity while cutting back on his penalties then he could certainly become one of the most impactful players on the team in 2014-2015.

Vote now: Rate Garbutt on a scale of A to F based on his performance relative to his potential and your expectations for the season.

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