The Dallas Stars filled two key leadership positions Tuesday, announcing that defenseman Trevor Daley and center Vernon Fiddler will serve as alternate captains this season.
“In Dale’s case, he has been a long-time Star. He knows how to play the game. He’s a big part of our team. He does the right thing, he comes to work and I think the players look up to and respect him,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “In Fidd’s case, he is well-respected. He wanted to come back here and be part of this team. He is not on the offensive side of it as much, but he is really well-respected among his peers. We have lots of guys that are good leaders that could have filled those positions, but those are the two that we felt would be the best for us.”
Daley, who turns 31 this week is the longest tenured Dallas Star. This will be his 11th NHL season, all of them with the Dallas organization.
“Obviously, it means a lot. I have been here for a long time. I am excited to be named,” Daley said. “This organization has been great to me and the city has been great to me, so having that accomplishment, I am real excited about it.”
The 34-year-old Fiddler will be in his fourth season with the Stars. He hit the free agent market this summer but opted to re-sign with Dallas.
“It’s definitely an honor to be a captain in a great organization. At the same time, I don’t think you need to have a letter on your sweater to be a great leader,” Fiddler said. “You look around our dressing room and we have some great leaders and guys that have been captains. It’s going to take a group effort with everybody chipping in for the leadership group.”
Fiddler and Daley join Stars captain Jamie Benn as the three players in that leadership group.
“I want to see the leaders hold each other accountable, to how we want to play and how we want to compete,” said Ruff. “That first day they go out and set the tone and they help demand it from each other. That comes from inside the room. When you get that and you understand you are not going to let each other down and you’ve got a teammate that says let’s pick it up, you get yourself in the right place.”
Notes: Garbutt sits out practice
*Stars forward Ryan Garbutt did not practice Tuesday due to illness.
“Garbutt was sick,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “We’ve got three or four guys that are fighting it a little bit. Initially, we were going to have two guys off and one guy decided to stay out there.”
*The Stars practiced for a little more than an hour in Frisco Tuesday morning. Ruff said he has the players working on a little bit of everything as they ready for Thursday’s season opener against Chicago.
“We’re touching on everything, from our system play to our special teams,” he said. “We just try to touch on everything as a quick reminder. The last two days have been special teams and again tomorrow we’ll touch on special teams for the last practice. But we are trying to work on everything.”
Here was how the Stars lined up in Tuesday’s practice in Frisco.
Jamie Benn –Tyler Seguin – Colton Sceviour
Patrick Eaves – Jason Spezza – Ales Hemsky
Antoine Roussel – Cody Eakin – Valeri Nichushkin
Shawn Horcoff – Vernon Fiddler – Erik Cole
Alex Goligoski – Trevor Daley
Brenden Dillon – Jordie Benn
Patrick Nemeth/Jamie Oleksiak – Kevin Connauton
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on DallasStars.com reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.