General Manager Ray Shero has traded away one of his offseason signings for a fourth round pick in 2017. Fiddler (36), is going back to Nashville, where he started his career from 2002-09. Fiddler only has one goal and two assists in 39 games so far this season, but has been a main fixture on the penalty kill and fourth line. The fourth line unfortunately hasn’t had much success and Fiddler is one of the main reasons why. With Fiddler on the ice the Devils tend to get hemmed into their own zone without generating much offense. The Devils only started 19.2% of the time in the offensive zone and 44.8% of the time in the defensive zone with Fiddler on the ice. Not great.
For the Devils this isn’t a major move, but it does key us in on how management feels. First off, this is an indication that the Devils may feel that the talent in Albany is strong enough to get some minutes at the NHL level. With the recent call up of Joseph Blandisi and waiver claim of Stefan Noesen, there just aren’t enough spots for everyone to get minutes. The Devils brass clearly feels that younger alternatives are a better option than Fiddler.
With Patrik Elias nearing a decision on his return, could this possibly be a sign that he has told Shero that he does indeed wants to return? Maybe that is just wishful thinking. However, the Devils would welcome Elias’ creativity and leadership with open arms.
The Devils have done a very good job stockpiling picks. They now own 10 picks in the 2017 draft. Look for them to add more if they do not pick things up by the deadline.