Mark Fistric #28 D
- 24 years old. Will be entering his fourth season of NHL play next year.
- 1 year left on his contract. Restricted free agent in the 2012-2013 season.
- Will make $1 million next season.
Mark Fistric hasn’t quite lived up to his expectations since being drafted in the first round in 2004 and this year was more of the same, although it might not be entirely his fault. Fistric is out there to do one thing, hit people and be a physical presence out on the ice.
When he got playing time, Fistric performed his role well. Despite playing in only 57 games, he was among the top-20 in NHL defensemen in hits (Fistric had 173, the league leader among defensemen had 251). No other defensemen in the top-40 played as few games as Fistric. Most of the big hits delivered by Stars players this season seemed to come from Fistric (although Stephane Robidas and surprisingly Mike Ribeiro were also noticeable physical presences late in the season).
The problem with Fistric was that his role on the team was so unstable that he would play very well and yet still be a healthy scratch for an extended stretch of games. Marc Crawford, for some reason, just didn’t like putting Fistric out on the ice during the critical point of the season in March when the Stars plummeted down the playoff rankings. He seems to be entrenched in a role as a third line defensemen but his role could change next year.
Fistric can have some trouble on covering players however and there were times this season where he left guys wide open in front of the net. Quicker skaters can get past him easily and there are times when it looks like he might be stick in the ice. Then again, none of the Stars defenders looked good when trying to defend this year so it wasn’t just him.
Fistric is the type of guy that the Stars should keep after his contract is up next year. The Stars have a few defensemen that can move the puck and are good offensive players. Robidas and Grossman can be physical players, but neither of them can bring the boom like Fistric can. Fistric’s hits can bring the crowd onto the feet and cheer. He can fill a good role on the team and hopefully the next Stars’ coach can see what he can do. Maybe Fistric can even improve his game.
- +/-: Plus/Minus Ratings
- PIM: Penalty Minutes
- SOG: Shots on Goal
- PPG: Power-Play Goals
- PPA: Power-Play Assists
- SHG: Short-Handed Goals
- TOI/G: Time on Ice per Game