Vernon Fiddler reportedly asked for a trade earlier this week, unhappy with his role and limited ice time with the Dallas Stars. As per Bruce Garrioch the Ottawa Sun:
Dallas GM Jim Nill has been actively working the phones trying to make changes and has shopped C Vernon Fiddler. Making $1.8 million through 2013-14, I’m told the Maple Leafs looked at the possibility of bringing in Fiddler in a third or fourth-line role but decided they didn’t have the cap space to make that move. Fiddler is an effective player if the Stars want to find him a new hole they will.
The rumors have been swirling around Fiddler with so much intensity that head coach Lindy Ruff felt the need to address the issue in the press. He spoke to Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News, and had this to say on the issue:
I’ve had conversations with Vern with where he is at, and where he was at last year. Those conversations are between the coach and the player. It wouldn’t be fair for me to address the rumors, but I can tell you we have had conversations on where I see his role, where it’s going to end up, or where it is going to try to end up, and those have been real good conversations with Vern.
All of this scuttlebutt brings one major question to the forefront: Just who does Vernon Fiddler think that he is, anyway?
He has an issue with ice time now? After averaging nearly 14 minutes in his first season in Dallas, Fiddler saw his ice time slip to around 13 minutes a game last year. This season, he’s averaging 11:34, and apparently enough is enough for the two-time 30-plus point scorer. Fiddler wants to play more, and he wants to play more now.
Does anyone else not see the absurdity here?
If Fiddler was cranking out the points and shots and having a massive impact on games when he was out on the ice, then maybe the requested time would make sense. The Stars are a better team now than they were three seasons ago though, and Fiddler hasn’t magically turned into a legit top-six player suddenly.
The 33-year-old has all of five points through 19 games and is a minus-four. So what’s the basis for him demanding more playing time or a trade?
Fiddler is on the final year of his contract so it’ll be interesting to see where he ends up. Really though, Fiddler? Demanding more playing time when you only have five points on the board is silly. Let’s get real here.
This is a classic case of one needing to know their role.