Finland’s SM-liiga added another stalwart blueliner on Monday as HIFK Helsinki announced the signing of Dallas Stars defenseman Stephane Robidas.
The Finnish top flight has been busy adding defensemen of late, including Alec Martinez (TPS) and Philip Larsen (Lukko). In late September, powerhouse team Jokerit secured the services of Ottawa’s Erik Karlsson, the reigning Norris Trophy winner.
Robidas, 35, is no stranger to the European game — during the 2004-05 lockout, he played with the Frankfurt Lions of the German league and emerged as one of the circuit’s top offensive defensemen, scoring 47 points in 51 games.
In Helsinki, Robidas will join a team featuring a number of current- and ex-NHLers. Edmonton’s Lennart Petrell and Florida’s Sean Bergenheim signed with Helsinki during the lockout while Joel Perreault, Patrick O’Sullivan and Ville Peltonen make up the ex-NHLer contingent.
Robidas is in the penultimate season of a four-year, $13.2 million extension signed with Dallas in 2009. He’s one of the most vested veterans on the Stars roster, having been with the team since 2005-06 (playing nine seasons in Dallas all told.)