Dallas Stars 2013-14 Season Grades: Aaron Rome

Aaron Rome struggled with injuries for the Dallas Stars this season.

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 Goals Assists Points +/- Zone Starts %
25 0 1 1 -6 53.6%

Playoff statistics:

GP Goals Assists Points +/- Zone Starts %
1 0 0 0 -1 28.6%

Key Stat: 8:91 - The total playoff time Aaron Rome had for the Dallas Stars.

The Good: When Rome was healthy, he played a physical game for the Stars. It's a style that the diminutive defensive guys like Trevor Daley and Alex Goligoski tend not to play. He was able to use his size to keep opposition in check. He played on the lower pairing, and at times looked to balance out Sergei Gonchar well relative to other pairings that were tried in the season.

The Bad: Rome was sheltered relative to most of his teammates. He saw the lowest percentage of defensive zone starts relative to the rest of the defense group. The injuries kept Rome from being able to participate in training camp fully, and he never really seemed to find his place this year. When he came back from injury, he seemed to get into a game and reaggravate the injury or get a new one. He found himself scratched when he was healthy down the stretch of the season in favor of young guys like Kevin Connauton or Patrik Nemeth.

Bottom Line: Rome started off the season penciled in as the number six or seven guy on defense. By the end of the season, he's most likely closer to the number eight, though he could even be as low as nine or ten if you think some of the prospects in Austin are ready for NHL time.

Signed for one more year at a salary and cap hit of $1.6 million, he's not an expensive option to keep on the NHL roster to allow for more seasoning of the prospects in Texas. However, Patrik Nemeth appears ready to take on a full time NHL spot next season, and his addition to the defense corps that is already all under contract next season creates a bit of a logjam. Something will have to give, and it would appear that Rome, with his injury history, would be the most likely target for a trade or buyout this offseason to make room for Nemeth on the roster.

Vote now: Rate Rome on a scale of A to F (A being the best of course) based on his performance relative to his potential and your expectations for the season.

How would you rate Sergei Gonchar's 2013-2014 season?