If you look around the NHL, you see so many superstars like Sidney Crosby, Dion Phaneuf, Chris Pronger, Markus Naslund and many other players who get the most recognition for getting big goals and delivering hits but you do not see the names like Stephane Robidas of the Dallas Stars for example on that list. From my understanding, he is the most underrated defenseman who needs to get the recognition like these big superstars in the NHL who earn millions of dollars.
You want to know why I pick Stephane Robidas is because of a report from the Seattle Post-Intelligence, “Stephane Robidas was Dallas' best all-around defense man without Zubov in the lineup, playing in 82 games and posting 26 points (9g, 17a) while averaging nearly 21 minutes of ice time per night. Robidas picked up his game in the postseason as well, recording three goals and eight assists in the playoffs.”1 He is one of the most underrated defense man in the NHL and this guy can produce points. He also helped out the rookie defense man on the Stars organize. He is a valuable player just like Morrow.
He is also the perfect example of never knowing a person's potential until you put them in the most challenging situation. Robidas was asked to be the Stars' No. 1 defense man in the playoffs last season -- and he came through with flying colors. He was fantastic defensively, showing enough speed and quickness to defend skilled players and enough physical strength to defend against guys who wanted to go to the net. In addition, he ran the power play to perfection when he was in charge. 2
Can he be that leader again for the Dallas Stars? Yes he can. Can he produce the points he did last year? I believe he can. Did you know he was the one who assisted on Brenden Morrow’s goal that help lead the Stars into the Western Conference Finals?
His teammates, who appreciate him for so much more than just his offense, were happy to see Robidas get the spotlight for his impressive contributions.
“There’s not too many players on teams that does as much as he does and he probably gets taken for granted,” goaltender Marty Turco said. “When you talk about injuries to two All-Star defense men, and for the minutes he’s logged, for the position that he’s put himself in, it’s quite notable. It’s not amazing to us how hard he’s worked, how dedicated he is, and he means the world to this team. He’s just one of those heart-and-soul players that doesn’t come around too often. That first playoff goal, that was absolutely huge.
“Stephane’s a warrior, there’s no other word for it,” added Grossman, who is usually paired with Robidas. “He lays it on the line every night. That’s why it’s so fun to play with him, because you know he’s going in 110 percent every night. I think it’s great for him to be rewarded. It’s hard work behind it, but finally, a goal and an assist, he had a huge impact on this game today. I think it’s huge, it all starts with hard work and it’s good to see a guy like that have a game like this.”3
So if anyone sees a player like Stephane Robidas who is a warrior inside and out, then you might want to rethink of calling him underrated. He is proving to everyone that even little defense man like him can make into the NHL.
These are the resources I used for my article: