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Dallas Stars Daily Links: Playoffs Are Crazy, and Vernon Fiddler Nominated for King Clancy Trophy

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The Playoffs have begun! Also, Vernon Fiddler is nominated for the Stars' second trophy of the year, and Cam Neely isn't Seabassing around anymore in Boston.

Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

Vernon Fiddler signed with the Stars in 2011, and his presence was something the Stars sorely lacked in retrospect.  Fiddler had speed, hands that could surprise, and his ability to lead with those attributes along with physical play when needed stood out on a Stars team that spent their last couple of years in the black and whites trying to discover their identity.

Well, almost four years later, Fiddler just finished scoring a career-high in goals.  Along with that, he has been recognized by his teammates, as their votes have nominated him for the NHL's King Clancy Memorial Trophy, which is for, well, I'll let you read it yourself.  (Emphasis mine.)

The Dallas Stars announced today that forward Vernon Fiddler has been voted by his teammates as the club's nominee for the National Hockey League's King Clancy Memorial Trophy. The award is given annually to the NHL player "who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution in his community."

Fiddler, 34, just completed his 12th NHL season and his fourth with the Dallas Stars. As a result of his sister passing away from Leukemia at the age of eight, Fiddler has been involved with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) as a way to honor her memory while giving back to the North Texas community. At every Stars home game during the season, Fiddler donated four tickets to LLS and at the conclusion of the game, he meets with his guests outside of the Stars locker room for autographs and pictures.

Fiddler also participated in the Second Annual Community Chest Charity Alumni Game on March 15 at American Airlines Center following the Dallas Stars game against the St. Louis Blues. For the second consecutive season, he served as a head coach in the charity hockey game which featured former Dallas Stars and St. Louis Blues players, along with local youth hockey players who helped raise funds for the Community Chest. The proceeds from the game benefited Defending The Blue Line and the future needs of the hockey community in Texas.

[Stars]

Fiddler is fiery, and there's no mistaking the fact that he is going to agitate, react and stir things up during the hockey game.  But this award speaks to Fiddler the human being, and it is something truly admirable.  It's easy to coast through a career in the NHL with a couple of nominal involvements in causes and charities just to tick a box.  With Fiddler, you can tell that he legitimately cares about putting in the time and giving back.  This award speaks to those qualities and more.

During the summer, a lot of the players take a well-deserved break.  They step out of the limelight for a while, and most of them relax for at least a couple of weeks before getting back into some kind of training regimen.  Vacation is usually involved.  For Fiddler, that all surely plays a part, but his teammates have made it loud and clear that he also uses his spare time for causes more important than himself.  That's pretty cool.

* * * * *

Three deadline acquisitions--Santorelli, Franson and Vermette--were scratched last night.  Different reasons for all of them, but that has to gut a GM, right?

What were the Stars' top ten plays of the season?  According to Jordan Dix, they were these plays.  [Hockey Writers]

The Stars have some upcoming free agency decisions to make.  How will next season see those shake out?  [Along the Boards]

Someone had a lot of fun with the pictures in this Mike Heika playoff predictions piece.  [DMN]

Chicago was down 3-0 to Nashville, and Corey Crawford was pulled in favor of Scott Darling.  What happened next?  three unanswered goals, then a double-overtime winner by Duncan Keith (off a nice little play by Marian Hossa as well, of course).  I picked Chicago because I know they are going to win because I am a hockey expert.  [NHL]

The Flames were down 1-0 to the Canucks, but guess what period they scored two goals in?  That's right, the third period.  Kris Russell scored the game-winner with just thirty second left in the final frame.  A pretty good night of hockey, all told. [CBC]

Montreal hung on to beat Ottawa in a wild one, 4-3, but the big story was P.K. Subban's ejection after he slashed Mark Stone on the arm with a pretty blatant "have at you!"  Chippy series, this.  [Puck Daddy]

Well, the Islanders started off their series well as they grabbed game one from Washington in Washington, 4-1.  I'm really hoping this series goes 7, though.  More Ovechkin needed.  [NHL]

Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper has taken a pretty strange route to his job heading up the bench of the Lightning.  I would enjoy Skyping with him sometime.  [NHL]

Fluto Shinzawa talks about how Cam Neely's firing of Peter Chiarelli yesterday fits into Neely's new direction for the Bruins.  [Boston Globe]

Which players are going to see the most post-whistle facewashes?  Justin Bourne is here to tell you.  [The Score]

The Indian National Ice Hockey Team is heading to Kuwait to play in the Challenge Cup of Asia after crowdfunding their trip.  This is a bizarrely awesome story.  [WSJ]

The NWHL is getting started with fanfare, but it's still tough to see its future.  [Stanley Cup of Chowder]

Finally, check out this illustrated history of the Stanley Cup.  Are you also now kind of hoping for a lockout so we can see the Cup awarded to the NWHL?  [NIB]