Dallas Stars defenseman Stephane Robidas has been out of the lineup since Nov. 29 after breaking his leg. Nearly three months later, he’s making serious strides in returning to the lineup.
Mark Stepneski of the Stars’ site gets the scoop on how the rugged blue liner is aiming to get back sooner than expected.
“He’s not ready for physical play,” said Stars assistant coach James Patrick. “His skating has gotten better and better, and he’s way ahead of schedule. I don’t know what his timetable is, but I think he is still weeks away.”
Robidas’ progress has been rather Steven Stamkos-like in its speed. He returned to skating in January and participated in two practices just before the Olympic break, something he said was good for him mentally.
The Stars are in the mix for the postseason in the Central Division. They’re currently holding down the second wild card spot, but have the same number of points as the Phoenix Coyotes and are one point ahead of Vancouver and two ahead of Winnipeg.
If Robidas can come back in weeks, buoying the Stars defense could make the difference between making and missing the playoffs.
Former Avalanche head coach Joe Sacco isn’t going to be out of work very long.
According to John Vogl of The Buffalo News, Sacco is set to join Sabres head coach Ron Rolston on his staff as an assistant. Rolston has been looking for experienced help on his bench since former assistants Kevyn Adams and James Patrick were let go.
Both Rolston and Sacco have history together as they were assistants under Scott Gordon for Team USA during the 2010 World Championships. Sacco coached Team USA to the bronze medal at this year’s Championships.
Sacco was fired as head coach of the Avalanche following yet another disappointing season this year. He’ll join Teppo Numminen on Rolston’s coaching staff. Numminen was the only holdover from Lindy Ruff’s tenure in Buffalo.
Update (3:08 p.m. ET): Sabres make it official Sacco is on board. Press conference to come at 4:30 ET today.
PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
Thomas Vanek might be a former Minnesota Golden Gopher, but the lockout has him thinking of going back home to Austria. (Niagara Gazette)
Former Jackets coach Scott Arniel is itching to get going in the AHL with the Chicago Wolves. (The Province)
Terry Murray is looking to do the same in Glens Falls, NY with the Adirondack Phantoms, his fifth stint with the Flyers organization. (Philly.com)
Dustin Byfuglien wants to be in the Norris Trophy discussion. (Winnipeg Sun)
David Clarkson is cool with staying at home for now. (Fire & Ice)
Sabres assistant coach is used to all this lockout stuff both as a player and now behind the bench. (Winnipeg Sun)
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is itching to get things started in Oklahoma City during the lockout. (Globe And Mail)