NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Forward Vernon Fiddler is retiring from the NHL after playing 877 games over 14 seasons in the league with four different teams.
Fiddler announced his decision Wednesday in a story for The Players' Tribune.
The 5-foot-11 center says he thought the New Jersey Devils would be his final team when he signed during the 2016 offseason. But Fiddler wrote that Nashville general manager David Poile and Devils GM Ray Shero, who launched his professional career, worked out a trade sending him back to the Predators where he started in the NHL.
Fiddler says coming full circle was special with the Predators' run to the Stanley Cup Final a "perfect way to finish my career."
He finished with 104 goals and 261 points and also played for the Coyotes and Dallas.
Avalanche: Hejduk's No. 23 to be retired in January ceremony
DENVER -- The Colorado Avalanche will retire the number of forward Milan Hejduk in a January ceremony.
Hejduk played all 14 of his seasons with Colorado and helped the Avalanche to a Stanley Cup title in 2001. He finished with 375 goals and 805 points in 1,020 games.
The 41-year-old Hejduk will have his No. 23 raised to the rafters on Jan. 6 against Minnesota. He becomes the sixth Avalanche player to have his sweater retired, joining Joe Sakic (19), Peter Forsberg (21), Patrick Roy (33), Adam Foote (52) and Ray Bourque (77).
Sakic, who's now the team's general manager, described Hejduk as a "quiet leader who led by example and always represented this organization and himself with class."
Hejduk was selected by Quebec in the fourth round of the 1994 draft.
It's been quite a while since a member of the Flyers had a trick. They almost had one in Wayne Simmonds. At least, he seemed to have it briefly in the first period.
It didn't happen, but the Flyers did go on to rout the hapless Colorado Avalanche, 4-0, on Tuesday night at the Wells Fargo Center.
It was the first time since Jan. 12 the Flyers scored more than three goals. Simmonds finished with two goals.
Steve Mason, who sat the previous six games as Michal Neuvirth's backup, picked up his first win since Jan. 25 and also stopped a penalty shot.
Jordan Weal's first NHL goal (and point) came at 7:16 of the second period on a redirect of Radko Gudas' point shot. Colorado challenged for offsides and lost.
Simmonds scored a shorthanded goal early in the first period for a 1-0 lead. He has two of the Flyers' three shorties this season.
Mason made his first start in seven games. He denied Mikko Rantanen on a second-period penalty shot, knocking the puck away into the corner. His last win was a 2-0 shutout of the Rangers in New York. He had two wins in his last 12 games coming into play.
Simmonds tipped a point drive from Shayne Gostisbehere to make it 2-0 in the first period and for a few seconds appeared to have a natural hat trick on the PP before his goal was awarded to Jakub Voracek that made it 3-0. Right as the marker was scored, hats came raining down from the stands onto the ice but replays then showed Simmonds never got a piece of Voracek's shot.
The Flyers were 2 for 3 on the man advantage.
It was a strong game for the Flyers against the 29th-ranked power play in the NHL as the Avs went 0 for 4.
Nick Cousins played his 100th game as a Flyer.
Sean Couturier decisioned Gabriel Landeskog in the first period (see video).
Michael Raffl suffered a lower-body injury late in the second period and did not return. An update on his status will be provided Wednesday.
Defenseman Brandon Manning (suspended) and Nick Schultz (healthy), and forward Roman Lyubimov (healthy).
The Flyers practice Wednesday at 11 a.m. at Skate Zone. They host the Florida Panthers on Thursday.
"Not a whole lot needs to be said."
That's a direct quote from Flyers coach Dave Hakstol this morning when asked whether his team is fully apprised at what's at stake right now with the club.
Forget that it's one day from the NHL trade deadline.
The important thing is the Flyers have 21 games left to try and clinch a wild-card berth as they remain six points behind Toronto heading into tonight's contest with the Colorado Avalanche, the worst team in the NHL (see game notes).
Jake Voracek said over the weekend the Flyers need to win 15 of their remaining games to get in. Thirty points would give them 93, which might be at the outside edge of where they need to be. Ninety-six would clinch it.
The only good thing right now is that every team ahead of the Flyers in the wild-card picture is also even with them in games played.
Yet the bottom line is the Flyers need to start scoring some goals. Since the 10-game winning streak when they were piling up victories, points and goals, they have averaged just 1.79 goals in 29 games.
That's not enough to win games.
"When you are going through a tough stretch, success helps a lot of different things," Hakstol said. "We need to have success on a lot of different levels, most importantly, because of the importance of the two points tonight.
"We're the ones who have put ourselves in this scenario and we’re the ones who can work our way out of this scenario."
After Monday's practice, goaltender Steve Mason was asked if he spotted anything during the six games he sat while Michal Neuvirth played.
Mason's response was candid.
"There are times, when you get scored on, there's an automatic drop back, and we need to have that push back right away," he said. "We need to start games well and we give up the first goal and it sets us back. We kinda lose the momentum we gain from starting well.
"Everyone is tired at the end of the just being content with the effort and not the outcome. Sometimes the effort can't just be good, it has to be great. We need guys to put the puck in the net. We need defensemen to make the goaltenders' job easier.
"The goaltenders need to stop more pucks, the more difficult saves. At the end of the day, I am going to look at my job and try to simplify things and go out and try to get a win here."
Flyers captain Claude Giroux agreed the team has played "good" but is still lacking for that critical goal that makes a difference.
"You look at our results and think we're a bad team and not going in the right direction," he said. "I strongly believe we are going in the right direction. We have to keep pushing and sticking together."
"We've had good efforts," he said. "We'll know that great effort [feeling] after we come out of a game with two points. That's what it is going to take from us right now."
The only way the Flyers turn this around is to play every game over the next quarter with a sense of desperation but that is very hard to do over a sustained period of time.
One of the reasons the Flyers were so gassed at the end of last season was they had to play as a desperate team over the final six weeks of the regular season and it left them depleted for the playoffs.
That scenario could repeat.
"The position we’re in right now, a little desperation is important," Giroux said. "We can't be stressed by the past. We have to worry about the next game."
Mason starts in goal against Colorado. ... Michel Del Zotto will replaced Brandon Manning (suspended) tonight. ... The Flyers had an optional skate this morning.
F: Jordan Weal-Claude Giroux-Wayne Simmonds
Nicke Cousins-Brayden Schenn-Jake Voracek
Michael Raffl-Sean Couturier-Dale Weise
Chris VandeVelde-Pierre-Edouard Bellemare-Matt Read
D: Ivan Provorov-Andrew MacDonald
Shayne Gostisbehere-Mark Streit
Michael Del Zotto-Radko Gudas
G: Steve Mason