Off the Ice: Fiddler’s absence reveals real roster deciders

Oct 31, 2011, 2:29 AM | Updated: 4:03 am

When forward Vernon Fiddler chose to leave the Phoenix Coyotes during free agency over the summer, he left because he was going to get paid more and felt that he had done his share on the ice, right?

Well, sort of.

According to The Arizona Republic, the reason Fiddler left is quite the gray area.

As far as the Coyotes are concerned, Fids didn’t re-sign because he didn’t get back to the team.

“We liked Vern,” [Coyotes GM Don Maloney] said. “We had a promise from his agent that before he would agree to anything that he would get back to us, and he didn’t.”

Fair enough. Not the most professional way to conduct yourself, but OK, I can deal with that. However, this is where things get a little off.

“It came up to the last day, and things just took a little longer than I thought they would, maybe it was a sign that it was time to move on,” [Fiddler] said, adding that the two teams over “very, very similar contacts,” but “it was just time.”

So, let me get this straight. The Coyotes said that Fiddler didn’t get back to them and Fiddler said that the Coyotes were taking longer than expected. Hmmmm…

By my math, the reason that the Coyotes lost Fiddler is not because of a desire for a change of scenery, a bigger contract or a shot at the Stanley Cup. Nope, as far as I can tell, Fids left because his agent decided it was time.

This is becoming a huge problem in professional sports. Agents are deciding too much of their “clients'” future with that 10 percent payout in mind. For a team like the Coyotes, this does not bode well.

The Coyotes are likely not a Stanley Cup caliber team. Don’t get me wrong, they have a great team this year and have a solid shot at the playoffs, but they don’t have a sensational star because they cost money, something the NHL-owned Coyotes don’t have.

I don’t classify Fiddler as a star, because he’s not. But this new matter makes me question the Coyotes’ off-season moves and current trades, both completed and failed, as to who the real beneficiary is: the Coyotes, the player or their agent. I’ll give you, say, a 10 percent shot you know where that decision is coming from.

EDITOR’S NOTE: “Off the Ice” is a new portion of where Carter Nacke will be covering and
discussing the Phoenix Coyotes throughout the season.
While the page is under construction, you can contact him
at, tweet him at @carternacke or follow the blog’s twitter feed at @OfftheIce620. Thanks for reading.

Arizona Coyotes

A rendering of the Arizona Coyotes' proposed Tempe arena revealed June 3 after a 5-2 Tempe City Cou...
Kevin Zimmerman

Phoenix Sky Harbor’s issue with Coyotes’ Tempe arena plans gets political

It appeared four months back that Tempe and Phoenix were in agreement to clear a path toward a vote on the Arizona Coyotes' arena.
1 day ago
A rendering of the Arizona Coyotes' proposed Tempe arena revealed June 2 after a 5-2 Tempe City Cou...
Arizona Sports

City of Phoenix suing Tempe for development that includes Coyotes arena

The City of Phoenix announced on Tuesday that its aviation department is filing legal action against the city of Tempe.
3 days ago
Matias Maccelli #63 of the Arizona Coyotes shoots to score a goal past goaltender Jack Campbell #36...
Associated Press

Coyotes drop 5th straight game in home loss to Oilers

The Edmonton Oilers beat the Arizona Coyotes 5-4 from a late third period goal on Monday night at Mullett Arena.
4 days ago
Clayton Keller #9 of the Arizona Coyotes celebrates with teammate Juuso Valimaki #4 after scoring a...
Arizona Sports

Clayton Keller breaks Coyotes’ point streak record with spinning goal in loss vs. Avs

Clayton Keller extended his points streak to 12 games, and no other player since the franchise relocated has hit that mark.
5 days ago
General manager Bill Armstrong of the Arizona Coyotes talks during the first round of the 2022 Uppe...
Arizona Sports

Coyotes’ Armstrong admires team fight as draft lottery position unfolds

The NHL’s top record was done by midseason thanks to Boston, but the chase for the worst mark remains up for grabs in the final three weeks.
6 days ago
Team Owner, Chairman and Governor Andrew Barroway of the Arizona Coyotes greets fan during a red ca...
Arizona Sports

NHL suspends Coyotes minority owner after arrest for strangulation charge

The NHL said it is aware of the arrest of Arizona Coyotes minority owner Andrew Barroway and has suspended him indefinitely.
6 days ago
Off the Ice: Fiddler’s absence reveals real roster deciders