NHL News & Notes: Desharnais, Fiddler, Randy Lee & More

In today’s News & Notes, David Desharnais’ contract in the KHL has been terminated, veteran forward Vernon Fiddler has joined the Dallas Stars coaching staff, Randy Lee has resigned as the assistant general maanger of the Ottawa Senators and the Calgary Flames have made a depth signing to bolster their forward depth at the AHL and potentially NHL level.

Desharnais’ KHL Contract Terminated

Desharnais’ tenure with Yaroslavl Lokomotiv in the KHL was over before it ever really began. Despite signing a contract with Lokomotiv in May 2018, Desharnais’ contract has been terminated by the team according to Igor Eronko.

David Desharnais Rangers
David Desharnais, New York Rangers, Mar. 22, 2018 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Desharnais spent the 2017-18 season as a member of the New York Rangers, playing in 71 games and scoring six goals and 28 points during his time there. A veteran of 524 seasons, the 5-foot-7, 180-pound winger has scored 87 goals and 282 points split between the Montreal Canadiens, Edmonton Oilers and the Ranger as an undrafted player.

Though Desharnais’ contract may have been terminated by Lokomotiv, Eronko would go on to report that the 31-year-old is still expected to sign a contract with another KHL team for the 2018-19 season.

Despite Desharnais’ leaving the NHL this season, there’s still a chance that he could opt to re-join the NHL down the line if a team is interested. Given Desharnais’ history in the league and his ability to play up and down the lineup in a pinch, it wouldn’t be surprising to see a team give him a call next season if he has a solid season in the KHL in 2018-19.

Fiddler Joins Stars’ Coaching Staff

The Stars are adding Fiddler, a member of the team from 2011 until 2016, to their NHL (and AHL) coaching staff for the 2018-19 season in a skills/development role, according to Sean Shapiro.

Vernon Fiddler Stars
Vernon Fiddler has joined the Dallas Stars’ coaching staff (Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports)

Fiddler announced his retirement from the NHL in September 2017 with a piece written on The Players’ Tribune. Fiddler finished his career with 104 goals and 261 points in 877 regular season games split between the Nashville Predators, Arizona (then-Phoenix) Coyotes, Stars and New Jersey Devils. Fiddler would also play in 51 playoff games, scoring five goals and 13 points in the postseason,

He would sign his last NHL contract with the Devils prior to the 2016-17 season but a trade sent him to the Predators later that year to give him a chance to compete for a Stanley Cup with the team that originally signed him and gave him a chance to break into the NHL in 2002.

The 38-year-old Fiddler had a very solid career for a player who was undrafted and played largely in a bottom-six capacity throughout his time in the league. He would score double-digit goals five times, three with the Predators and twice in Dallas. There aren’t many undrafted players who have reached the 100-goal mark while playing in nearly 900 games, but Fiddler proved that hard work and determination pays off.

Lee Resigns From Senators

Amid charges for second-degree harassment, Randy Lee has resigned from his roles as assistant general manager of the Ottawa Senators and general manager of the Belleville Senators.

Lee was arrested in Buffalo in May for allegedly harassing a teenager and while this move is the right one for the Senators, it still comes months after the original development. The team did suspend Lee in June, however, with general manager Pierre Dorion making a statement on the matter.

While Lee’s attorney originally stated that he would move to have the charges dismissed with Lee putting in a not-guilty plea, he would later go onto argue that none of the allegations constituted harassment. The team will immediately begin looking for his replacement and will likely look to put this whole ordeal behind them sooner than later.

Flames Sign Peluso

The Flames have signed unrestricted free agent forward Anthony Peluso to a one-year, two-way deal worth $650,000 at the NHL level and $125,000 at the AHL level with a guarantee of $150,000 regardless of where he plays.

The 29-year-old Peluso was originally drafted by the St. Louis Blues with the 160th selection in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft but never ended up dressing for an NHL game in a Blues’ uniform. Instead, he spent the first four seasons of his career in the AHL as a member of the Peoria Rivermen before finally getting a shot to play in five games in 2012-13 with the Winnipeg Jets.

The Calgary Flames have signed Anthony Peluso. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Peluso would go on to play for the Jets for three seasons, dressing in 142 games and scoring four goals and 14 points in that time. Though he did dress for two games with the eventual Stanley Cup Champion Washington Capitals in 2017-18, he spent the majority of his season with the Hershey Bears in the AHL. With Hershey, Peluso scored seven goals and 11 points in 38 games.

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This signing is more than likely a minor one for the Flames who will likely use the 6-foot-3, 225-pound Peluso in an AHL role, capable of filling in a bottom-six role or extra forward role at the NHL level if absolutely necessary down the line.