The Dallas Stars have some tough decisions to make over the next few days, and Vernon Fiddler figures highly into those choices. The Stars are sitting in the final wildcard spot in the Western Conference. With the trade deadline looming, they must decide if they want to be buyers or sellers. Last year, Dallas was a major seller at the deadline, offloading veterans like Brenden Morrow, Jaromir Jagr and Derek Roy in exchange for prospects and picks. It was a much-needed move for a team in the throes of rebuilding.
This year the picture is different for the Stars now that there is stability in the front office and coaching department, and the vision that general manager Jim Nill has for the team is falling into place. All indications from Nill and coach Lindy Ruff are that they like the chemistry and mixture of talent that the current roster possesses, and they are not likely to do anything that would shake that up. As much as Dallas fans would love to see the team push for the playoffs, now is simply not the time to bring in rental players for what would amount to no return on future depth.
With that said, the Stars do hold a few players that should be moved if the right deal comes along, and Fiddler is absolutely one of them. Fiddler will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season and has hinted that he is unlikely to re-sign with the Stars. He’s a dependable third-line center that isn’t afraid to get in opponents’ faces. In his three years with the Stars, Fiddler has been one of the more consistent, hard-working guys on the team. But at 33 years of age, Fiddler is moving past his peak playing years, and it is time for Dallas to move on.
Fiddler would make an excellent rental option for teams looking to add depth to their current lineup. The San Jose Sharks, who have faced numerous injuries this season, are one team that would benefit from the addition of Fiddler. Wherever he goes, the Stars won’t get a huge return on Fiddler — most likely a draft pick or mid-level prospect. However in this case, something is better than nothing, especially if there is the potential for a pay off in the long-term.