Former Dallas Stars defenseman Stephane Robidas’ return to American Airlines Center for the playoffs Monday as a member of the Anaheim Ducks took a sickening turn.
Robidas suffered a fractured right leg early in the second period after Stars center Ryan Garbutt slid into Robidas. The defenseman had also suffered a fractured leg the last time he played at AAC as a Star — on Nov. 29 against the Chicago Blackhawks.
The injury Monday occurred just above the previous fracture. Robidas was sent to an area hospital.
As he was helped off the ice, Stars fans honored the player who had logged 704 games for Dallas, chanting “Roby, Roby.”
It was not how Robidas’ return to town was supposed to unfold. It seemed appropriate that at least Robidas, 37, was on the ice when playoff hockey returned to Dallas for the first time since May 19, 2008, even if he was an opponent.
Robidas was traded to the Ducks on March 4 after recovering from the first fracture and was able to contribute for the Ducks.
Robidas’ family had remained in Dallas after the trade. The playoff series here had originally worked out well for Robidas, who Sunday attended the birthday party of his daughter, Lexi, who turns 9 on Tuesday.
And before Monday’s game Robidas said he appreciated the return of playoff hockey to his former town.