DALLAS, Texas - This interview with one of the nicest guys in all of DFW sports occurred before he suffered a broken leg that could end his season, but any chance to chat with Stephane Robidas is a winner.
The veteran has been in the NHL since 1999 when he began with the Montreal Canadiens, and with the Stars since 2002. He spent part of the '03-'04 season with the Chicago Blackhawks but he returned to the Stars after that season.
He was decent enough to take some uncomfortable questions from me ...
You have a 10 and an 8 year old – which one do you like better? (laughs) I’m their dad, I love them both.
No, you can tell me – which one do you like better? No, honestly they are both very different. My boy plays hockey and now my little girl plays hockey.
Ever have to discipline them for mailing it in? No, he has a good work ethic.
How old are you now? I’m 36.
You look 35. Thank you.
Are you anxious to do the surgery on your face? No. I’ve done my nose three times.
Deviated septum thing still? Oh yeah. But the surgery is so painful I’ll never do it again. They knock you out, but the stuff they do inside … it’s so painful. I’ve done it three times. Last year when I was in Finland I took a punch; I would probably need to do it to make it straight. I don’t care about it.
You fought Sean Avery once; you remember it? Oh yeah. He hit me a few times and I knew it was coming. I hit him back. He wanted to go. I was like, ‘Let’s go.’
Weird when you were teammates – he’s kind of a jerk? Well, it’s funny how it works. When you’re teammates. When the guy is on your side, it’s nothing.
Where is your happy place? On the ice. That’s what I’ve been doing since I can remember. So if I’m not on the ice here, I’m there with my kids.
Thought of retirement scare you? Yeah. A lot. It’s all I know. I love playing.
Do you think about it? Yeah. I’ve started to think about it for the last couple of years. I have seen guys going through retirement struggling. They just find it tough to get back and just live a regular life. For me, I’ve been training every year and get ready and you always have to go. If you’re not playing, you need a different goal. I don’t think you can get up every morning and ... I know I’ll need to do something.
When you meet people, do they know your accent? Let’s put it this way, they know I’m not from here. At first I was very shy when I came here, but now I’m to the point I laugh about it.
Do you curse in French or English? I don’t swear.
That’s a lie. Do you swear in French or English? Well, for you guys here (blank) is a big thing. For me, in French, I can say that whenever I want. I can say it whenever I want. It doesn’t offend anybody.
What is the equivalent in French? Well, all of the swear words come from the church.
That sounds about right – what are they? Like Tabernac. It’s all words from the church. Calais, that’s a swear word we use in French.
How do you use that? Well, let’s say I slam my foot and it hurts. I say, “Tabernac!” You know how some people use (blank) like every other word. Back home, my uncle will just put (calais) every other word. You can use any of them.
Thanks for the time. No problem. Anything for you. You are incredible at what you do and inspiration to kids everywhere.*
*(he may not have actually said this last line).
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