Earlier this week when it was rumored that Vern Fiddler was being shopped by the Dallas Stars on the NHL's trade market we looked at it from a hockey angle and couldn't make the pieces fit together.
Last night on TSN's Insider Trading Bob McKenzie cleared things up with information we didn't possess at the time of the analysis: Vern Fiddler, in fact, asked to be shopped.
"Two weeks ago he went to the Dallas Stars and said he wants more ice time," McKenzie said. "He wants a bigger role and if he can't get it with Dallas, let it be somewhere else."
You had to wonder about Fiddler's role when Shawn Horcoff, Tyler Seguin, and Rich Peverley were brought in during the off-season, as was the case the off-season before when Derek Roy and Cody Eakin were added to Jamie Benn at the position. The only logical place to put Fiddler on the back of cocktail napkins seemed to be that fourth line.
He fought through it last year, contributing in a big way down the stretch after the trade deadline, and seemed to be fighting through it this year, aided by Horcoff's struggles, but two weeks ago, which would be around the loss to Montreal, he evidently lost patience if the report is true.
"There is interest in him from other teams," McKenzie continues, "but the Stars are winning, things are going well right now and they're not going to give him away. Keep an eye on this one."
Indeed we will, but the Stars need all hands on deck right now. Center depth organizationally at the NHL-potential level is still questionable and it's a long season. Injuries will create opportunities, but it does seem he has some value. At the deadline when his cap hit lessens even further he may have enough to consider "not losing him for nothing."
Darren Dreger chimed in, adding that the Maple Leafs were indeed interested. "Toronto is a bit concerned with his age and the money, but the Leafs are looking for something," Dreger added.
Fiddler played 8:13 in Montreal and since has recorded 14:02, 14:13, 10:56, 10:11 and 8:58. He started on the fourth line with MacDermid and Roussel that night, then began skating on the third trio with Peverley more often than not the following Sunday in Ottawa.
Combine this report with what Elliote Friedman said in his 30 thoughts this week:
10. Other NHL teams believed to be looking for a defenceman are the Ottawa Senators and, for a time, the Dallas Stars. The latter team's improved play of late changed things.
...And maybe we can connect the dots? Not that they (or anyone else) should ever stop looking for defense.
No one can be quite sure what Jim Nill's burning down there, but there is definitively some smoke.
The TSN insiders then threw out, and it's unrelated to Dallas in every way, I cannot stress that enough - That Dmitry Kulikov in Florida is available and that teams are asking.
More from Defending Big D:
- Texas Stars Report: Discipline and Holding Leads
- Gameday Preview: Dallas Stars @ Edmonton Oilers (9:00pm CST)
- Dallas Stars Place Ray Whitney on Injured Reserve; Recall Travis Morin From AHL
- Is Dallas Stars Rookie Valeri Nichushkin the Most Well Rounded of the 2013 Draft Picks So Far?
- Ex-Dallas Stars Performing In New Locations