Dallas Stars 2013-14 Season Grades: Sergei Gonchar

Today we grade Sergei Gonchar's season with the Dallas Stars.

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 %
76 2 20 22 -12 58.1%

Playoff statistics:

GP Goals Assists Points +/- Zone Starts %
6 0 0 0 -3 61.0%

Key Stat: 38 - Number of games that passed before Sergei Gonchar got his first goal of the season.

The Good: After bouncing around a bit with various defensive partner pairings, Gonchar found a good role as a third pairing / second power play guy. He partnered well with Jordie Benn and Kevin Connauton at various times throughout the season. His biggest contribution may have been off the ice, however. In a season spent in North America amid a new culture and language, Gonchar helped rookie phenom Valeri Nichushkin transition to the NHL level.

The Bad: It definitely wasn't the season most were expecting Gonchar to have. When he was signed, the thought was that he'd be able to help a middling power play coming off a decent few seasons in Ottawa. Unfortunately, he never clicked in that capacity consistently enough to fill that role for the salary he was paid. His brief tenure partnered with Alex Goligoski was a defensive disaster for both guys involved, and he eventually became the third pairing guy as the season progressed.

Lindy Ruff also tended to shelter Gonchar, preferring to start him in the offensive zone -- away from their own net -- as much as possible. His offensive zone start percentage was one of the highest among the Stars blueliners, both in the regular season and in the playoffs.

Bottom Line: It wasn't what everyone was hoping for, but it also wasn't as bad as many made his season out to be. Did he meet expectations? Probably not. But he wasn't the worst on the team -- his salary cap hit tends to taint the season he had on the third pairing.

Vote now: Rate Gonchar 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 2013-14 season?