Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 7/3/14
Vernon Fiddler took less money Wednesday to come back to the Dallas Stars, and that’s what the “culture” of Jim Nill’s makeover can create. “Honestly, I had better offers. But I wanted to stay with this team and finish the job,” Fiddler said after signing a two-year deal that will pay him $1 million next season and $1.5 million in 2015-16. “There is a real attraction to playing here and playing to win, and seeing this through. I think this is going to be a really good team, and I want to be a part of that.” Fiddler completes the off-season for Nill. The general manager said he is done with acquisitions after trading for center Jason Spezza and signing winger Ales Hemsky, goalie Anders Lindback and forwards Patrick Eaves and Fiddler as free agents. The Stars have a full roster, with the only thing to be determined is how many kids from the AHL-champion Texas Stars earn a spot on the team in training camp. “We’re happy with what we’ve been able to build, and we’re ready to go,” Nill said. “I know the players are already working hard for next year. They’re hungry.” Count Fiddler among those players. The 34-year-old center had a chance to look at the marketplace and explore options, and he said he just kept thinking he’d rather be with the Stars. “I think the deals for Spezza and Hemsky make us better, I think just having a year with the new people makes us better,” Fiddler said. “My family loves it here, I love it here, and we decided the best move for all of us is to stay right here.” In doing so, he’ll make the Stars a better team. A gritty forward with speed and skill, Fiddler can play on the second, third or fourth lines. He won 52.2 percent of his faceoffs last season and became a regular in the defensive zone when coach Lindy Ruff needed a shutdown shift. Playing beside Shawn Horcoff and Colton Sceviour, he helped form one of the Stars’ best lines in the playoffs. He’s not a big scorer, tallying 23 points (six goals, 17 assists) in 76 games, but he’s capable of scaling up the lineup. Fiddler last season was frustrated at times and asked for a trade when he wanted more ice time. But the request had a lot to do with his pending free agency, and now he understands the situation.
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