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Dallas Stars Sign Stephane Robidas to a Four-Year Extension

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Of course this news breaks while I'm in the middle of an outlet mall in Nowhere, Connecticut. Thanks to Art for getting the news of the signing up earlier this afternoon.

We'll have much, much more response to this signing during tonight's podcast, and tomorrow morning on Defending Big D.

My initial reaction is how good this must feel for Robidas, who has gone from castoff defensemen to the team's most valuable blueliner. His toughness can't be questioned and he's quickly become a fan favorite in Dallas. My next thought is that the financial burden placed on Joe Nieuwendyk has perhaps been lifted just a tiny, tiny bit.

Dallas Stars press release after the jump:

FRISCO, Tex. - Dallas Stars General Manager Joe Nieuwendyk announced today that the hockey club has signed defenseman Stephane Robidas to a four-year contract extension worth $13.2 million. This extension puts Robidas under contract through the 2013-14 season.

"We are very happy to sign Stephane to this contract extension," said Nieuwendyk. "He has been a rock for this team on the blue-line and is a key member of our leadership group. Stephane is a consummate professional who gives us everything he has each night."

Robidas, 32, set career-highs in assists (23) and tied his career-high for points (26) last season with the Stars. He led the team in hits (221) and ranked 12th in the league in that department. Robidas also led the Stars in ice-time with an average of 24:32 per game.

The native of Sherbrooke, Quebec, has played in 394 career games with the Stars, scoring 21 goals and 79 assists for 100 points (Career: 561 NHL games, 30 goals, 105 assists, 135 points). Robidas signed as a free agent with Dallas on August 6, 2005. He played a previous stint with the Stars, from 2002-2004, having originally been acquired from Atlanta for future considerations.