After suffering a lower-body injury on Tuesday night against Pittsburgh, the New Jersey Devils have placed Vernon Fiddler on injured reserve. The team has recalled Luke Gazdic from Albany to replace him on the roster.
Earlier today it was reported that Fiddler will miss 3-4 weeks. That would keep him out of at least 11 games for the Devils, who at 13-15-7 are already in trouble this season. The team is already 11 points behind the Philadelphia Flyers for the last wildcard spot, and find themselves last in the conference. For a team that traded for Taylor Hall and signed several free agents (including Fiddler) the season has been a massive disappointment.
The 36-year old Fiddler has been a solid contributor throughout his long career, scoring at least 20 points in eight of his ten full seasons. He’s taken a step back this year though, with only three points through 35 games. His presence is mostly felt on the penalty kill and in the faceoff dot, where he’s winning a career-high 55.3% of his draws.
Gazdic has played in four games for New Jersey this season and 140 in his NHL career. The hulking winger will add some toughness to the fourth line if he gets into the lineup. Since Hall will also miss Thursday’s game, he probably will.