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Fiddler, Yandle Gladly Share 'A'

by Anthony Perez / Arizona Coyotes
GLENDALE -- This season, the Coyotes have enlisted the help of an emerging defenseman and a hard-working forward for leadership duties.

Keith Yandle and Vernon Fiddler have become a dynamic duo of sorts, alternating as an alternate captain from game to game. They will be helping Captain Shane Doan and Alternate Captain Ed Jovanovski with the leadership workload.

The two players will share the “A” throughout the season. For last Saturday’s season opener in Prague, Fiddler was alternate captain along with Jovanovski. Yandle had the responsibility on Sunday, and Fiddler will again have it for Saturday’s home opener against Detroit.

Vernon Fiddler. Photo by Getty Iamges.
Doan likes the leadership qualities the two players bring to the dressing room.

“You can’t say enough good things about Keith Yandle,” Doan said. “He’s an incredible hockey player; he’s probably one of the most-liked guys in the room. Everyone just gets along so well with him. He’s got a great personality and he’s got a personality that everyone wants to follow.”

He added, “Vern Fiddler he’s done everything the right way with us… On the ice he’s doing everything he needs to and doing the little things like blocking shots and setting an example.”

Doan also talked about how he likes the idea of alternating alternate captains.

“It spreads out the responsibility,” Doan said. “The more you feel responsible for your team, the more you care because you feel responsible for it and the more guys that can get in that group, they put more pressure on people and everyone just kind of follows along.”

Fiddler is known throughout the NHL for his gritty play and he feels like that style of play might be one of the best ways to show leadership.

Keith Yandle. Photo by Getty Images.
“I like to think of myself as someone who goes out and works hard every night, someone that will do anything for his teammates and take pride in that,” Fiddler said. “Hopefully other guys will do the same, and I think we have a lot of great leaders on this team, so it makes all the captains and everybody else’s job a lot easier.”

While just 24 years old, Yandle is an emerging defenseman in the league and says that he’s taking this new responsibility seriously.

“When I found out I was extremely honored,” Yandle said. “It’s a great position. It definitely means a lot to me that my teammates, coaches and management thinks highly of me like that. So it was a huge honor for me and I’m definitely not taking anything for granted.”

Not only do Fiddler and Yandle now share an “A,” but they also share a hotel room on the road.

“We have a lot of fun,” Fiddler said. “I’ve enjoyed being his roommate. We’ve become really good friends and I’m sure we’ll be friends for a long time to come. He’s a great kid, comes from a good family, he’s a very loyal person and it just goes to show why he’s one of our captains.”
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