The Dallas Stars appeared to round out their free agent forward group Tuesday as they have reportedly agreed to a two-year contract with center Vernon Fiddler.
Here's Mike Heika with the news:
I'm hearing Stars have agreed to two-year contract with Vernon Fiddler. We'll have details in a bit on the blog. http://t.co/cGWqL9BKwV— Mike Heika (@MikeHeika) July 2, 2014
[Ed. note: The numbers are in, and it's a cap hit of $1.25 million per season paid out $1 million this year and $1.5 million next year.]
Fiddler, 34, spent the last three seasons with the Stars with 18 goals and 61 points in 204 games. He had six goals and 23 points in 76 games to help the Stars reach the playoffs in 2013-14, and he was one of the veterans who stepped up in a big way in the six-game loss to the Anaheim Ducks, playing very well alongside Shawn Horcoff.
It's likely he'll slot back into a fourth-line role next to Horcoff this season. He could also remain on the penalty kill, where he averaged precisely 2 minutes per game last season. And he contributes to the Stars suddenly enviable center depth and, ideally, ability to win a face off.
Fiddler is coming off a cap hit of $1.8 million per season. The value of the new contract has not been announced.
From a salary cap perspective, the Stars now have 20 NHL players signed and about $62.5 million in cap space with three key restricted free agents in Brenden Dillon, Cody Eakin and Antoine Roussel still to sign.
Like Josh wrote this morning, it seems inevitable that the Stars are going to try and shed a high cap hit player such as Sergei Gonchar or Erik Cole to make space for the RFAs and a guy or two from the AHL, Curtis McKenzie or Brett Ritchie being the obvious suspects.
Here's the full news release:
FRISCO, Texas - Dallas Stars General Manager Jim Nill announced today that the club has signed center Vernon Fiddler to a two-year contract. Per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Fiddler, 34, recorded 23 points (6-17=23) in 76 regular-season games with Dallas during the 2013-14 season. The Edmonton, Alberta native finished the regular season ranked second on the team with a 52.2% faceoff percentage (513-for-982). Fiddler registered three points (1-2=3) in six games during the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs, and led the team with a 60.4% faceoff win percentage (61-for-101).
The 11-year NHL veteran has amassed 206 points (77-129=206) and 427 penalty minutes in 656 career regular-season games with Nashville, Phoenix and Dallas. In three seasons with the Stars, Fiddler has tallied 61 points (18-43=61) and 145 penalty minutes in 204 regular-season contests.
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. "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 5-foot-11, 205-pound forward went undrafted and signed with Dallas as a free agent on July 1, 2011.