On the first day of compliance buyouts, the Dallas Stars make the first move. To no one's surprise, defenseman Aaron Rome is the first player the Stars have used their 2 buyouts on which were negotiated in the previous CBA. Not having used any last year, it was widely anticipated that the Stars would use one of the two buyouts on Rome who was plagued with injuries in his time in Dallas. In addition, Dallas has a very young group of defenseman, including the 14th overall pick from the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, Jamie Oleksiak and Patrik Nemeth, who was taken 41st overall in the 2010 draft, who are primed to earn more playing time next season.
Rome, who was signed as a free agent on July 1st, 2012 played in 52 in 3 seasons and accumulated 6 points and 29 penalty minutes. He had signed for a 3-year deal for $4.5 million.
Also, reports are circulating that the Stars also offered soon-to-be UFA center, Vern Fiddler a contract offer that was rejected by Fiddler and his reps. The move by Fiddler ensures the Stars assumption that Vern will test the unrestricted free agency market. Fiddler, who signed a year prior to Rome, played in 204 games for Dallas and had 61 points and 145 penalty minutes. Fiddler quickly became a fan favorite and leader for the Stars as his antics on and off the ice helped strengthen the chemistry for the young Stars and solidified that opponents could not take liberties with the Stars youngsters. A prime example was last year in Vancouver when the Canucks were handily beating the Stars and the 3rd line of Ryan Garbutt, Fiddler and Eric Nystrom proceeded to send a statement that the score would be lopsided, but Vancouver was not going to run over the team. Fiddler met up with Maxim LaPierre and despite a sizeable difference, took it to the larger Canuck and really set the tone for the team. The Stars went on to comeback and defeat the Canucks on Brenden Dillon's shot from the point.
If Vern Fiddler does move on, he will definitely be missed, but with the success that the Texas Stars are experiencing, allowing Fiddler to search for a role on a team that will not be diminished is the right thing to do for both parties.