Vernon Fiddler, Stephane Robidas

The loss of Robidas is a ‘huge loss’ for the Ducks


Normally, you wouldn’t think the loss of a 37-year-old stay-at-home defenseman who missed half the season with a broken leg would hurt a team too badly. Especially not a team that earned the top seed in the Western Conference, most of the work done without his help.

But the loss of Stephane Robidas (again with a broken leg) will be a challenge for the Anaheim Ducks. To say otherwise would be to downplay how well he performed after joining the club in a late-in-the-season trade with Dallas Stars, who just so happen to be the Ducks’ first-round opponents.

“It’s a huge loss because he was playing great,” Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau said.

Indeed. Robidas suited up in 14 games for the Ducks during the regular season, scoring once with four assists while logging just over 20 minutes per contest.

On Apr. 9, in an important game against the San Jose Sharks, Robidas played a team-high 22:49, including 5:49 while shorthanded. The Ducks won 5-2, clinching the Pacific Division in the process.

A “real steady force back there,” according to Boudreau, Robidas will now have to replaced, possibly by Luca Sbisa or Mark Fistric, neither of whom played much this season.

Game 4 of the Anaheim-Dallas series goes tonight at American Airlines Center, and it comes on the heels of a 3-0 victory for the Stars that cut the Ducks’ series lead to 2-1.

Boudreau, though, remains confident.

“The thing about this team is we’ve rebounded from injuries all year,” he said. “The first half of the year we had the most injuries and we just kept playing through it because we had good depth.”

That depth is about to be tested again.

Report: Sean Avery was arrested last week

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From the Southampton Press:

Sean Avery, the former National Hockey League player, was arrested by Southampton Village Police last week on two criminal charges.

According to authorities, Mr. Avery was arrested September 30 following a routine traffic stop on Jennings Avenue in the village at about 4:09 p.m. He was charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief and two counts of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, all misdemeanors.

Police said the criminal mischief charge involved an incident the day before, when Mr. Avery allegedly threw objects at passing vehicles.

As for those counts of possession, according to the newspaper, Avery was found to have “two prescription drugs, acetaminophen with oxycodone and roxicodone.”

He was released on $500 bail and ordered to appear in court at a later date.

Did we mention he’s supposed to get married this weekend?

H/t Gawker

Devils send ’15 first-rounder Zacha back to junior

2015 NHL Draft - Round One

Pavel Zacha was this close to making his NHL debut.

Just days prior to opening their season against the Jets, the Devils returned Zacha — the sixth overall pick at this year’s draft — back to his junior club in OHL Sarnia.

The move comes after Zacha, 18, impressed throughout training camp and the preseason. He appeared in four exhibition games for New Jersey, scoring one point while endearing himself to the organizational brass, coaching staff and players.

“He understands the game. He plays with a maturity. It’s crazy to think an 18-year-old coming out of high school is up here and playing with the maturity and understanding of the game with the new system,” Kyle Palmieri told “I think he’s got a lot of raw talent there as a power forward. He’s got the body for it, the puck-handling skills and the nose for the net.”

At 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds, Zacha has the frame and physical stature to play at the NHL level, and looked the part for long stretches of the exhibition season, getting turns on New Jersey’s top line.

The decision to send him back to junior is probably the right one, however.

Zacha only turned 18 in April and has limited experience even at the OHL level; ’14-15 was his first year with Sarnia, though he did appear in 38 Czech League games (for Liberec) the season prior.