On Tuesday afternoon as he was addressing the press inside the Stars’ locker room, general manager Jim Nill said after a busy day where the Stars had already added Jason Spezza, Ales Hemsky, Anders Lindback and Patrick Eaves that Dallas might have one more move in store, adding a player who could play steady minutes on the Stars’ third or fourth line.
But Nill, who just completed his first full year as the Dallas GM, said that the club was in no hurry to add that player, stating that the organization would wait and see how the market shook out.
However, on Wednesday afternoon, Dallas announced it had found their man by re-signing Vernon Fiddler, a great faceoff man who has played capably on the third and fourth lines ever since he signed a three-year deal with the Stars back in 2011.
Fiddler was an unrestricted free agent, but considering how much he enjoyed his first three seasons in Dallas and how much he liked his teammates, head coach Lindy Ruff and the organization as a whole, seeing him sign on for two more years in Big D isn’t surprising at all.
"As a staff, we all agree that we had a special dressing room and Vern has been a driving force behind shaping that culture," said Nill in a club-issued press release. "He is a hard-nosed, detailed player that brings intensity and passion to the game every time he steps on the ice. We value everything that he brings to the table and are thrilled to keep him in the fold for the next two seasons."
The 34-year-old centerman is heading into his 12th season in the NHL and comes off a 2013-14 campaign where he won 52.2 percent of his faceoffs, making him the second-best man in the circle on the team. In the playoffs, Fiddler led the Stars by winning 60.4 percent of his faceoffs.
Before coming to Dallas three summers ago, the Edmonton native had previously skated for the Nashville Predators and Phoenix Coyotes.
Fiddler is a gritty and hard-working guy who will do all the little things needed to win games but don’t show up on the stat sheet, things like blocking shots, digging pucks out of the corner or just being a fly in the ointment to the opposition.
But Ruff, his coaching staff, the entire Stars organization and his teammates definitely take notice of how "Fidds" contributes each and every time he steps over the boards, which is why No. 38 is a very popular personality inside the room.