Fiddler heading to the desert

DEREK VAN DIEST, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:49 AM ET

Vernon Fiddler is looking forward to a fresh start.

It's not as though things had gone sour for the local product with the Nashville Predators.

On the contrary. Fiddler developed into a solid checking centre and therefore garnered a number of offers as an unrestricted free agent this summer.

He ended up signing with the Phoenix Coyotes.

"We were actually surprised at the amount of interest, especially in the Western Conference," said Fiddler, currently taking part in Perry Pearn's three-on-three camp at the K of C Arena. "I wanted to play somewhere where I was going to play a lot and not be the 11th or 12th guy in the lineup. I wanted to go somewhere that had a young team and was going to give me an opportunity and it seemed that Phoenix was the best fit."

Undrafted, Fiddler, 29, worked his way through the Predators system and eventually became an important role player for the club. He's scored 11 goals in each of the past three seasons.

"I loved it there," he said. "I made a lot of good friends and the organization, you can't say enough about them. They don't really care about your pedigree, they just care about how hard you work, if you're a good person and a good teammate.

"I'm going to miss it there, but at the same time I have to look forward, I can't look back. I got a lot of good memories from there, but now I'm looking forward to going on and making some new ones."

Fiddler signed a two-year, $2.2-million deal with the Coyotes. He'll add a solid veteran presence to an otherwise young lineup.

"I've never been with another organization, so it's going to be a little different off the bat," Fiddler said. "But I'm very excited to get a fresh start somewhere and get an opportunity to prove myself somewhere else and to maybe help rebuild a team that hasn't done very well in the last couple of years and maybe we can turn that team into a playoff contender."


Videos

Photos