Mitch Fadden on Unconditional Waivers
RDS reported earlier today Lightning prospect Mitch Fadden is on unconditional waivers today. Fadden, who hasn't played since January 7 due to a blot clot in his leg, will have his contract terminated, said Damian Cristodero of the St. Petersburg Times. Yzerman told Cristodero the move to put Fadden on waivers was due to "off-ice issues" and neither the Lightning GM nor Fadden's agent would comment further.
A report in the Salmon Arm Observer stated Fadden was arrested in early March for driving intoxicated, among other charges, in Salmon Arm, B.C.
Fadden was home in B.C. while taking blood thinning medication.
The report said Fadden had several near collisions, was speeding, running through stop signs, and driving on the wrong side of the road. The car was blocking a street when it eventually stopped.
"The driver got out of the vehicle and was immediately observed to be grossly intoxicated," wrote Tracy Hughes of the Observer. "He was arrested, and once returned to the RCMP detachment, the man refused to provide a breath test and became violent with officers."
Fadden was held in custody and appeared in court March 2.
He is now facing charges of impaired driving, failing to provide a breath sample, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, and obstructing a peace officer.
The Lightning's 2007 fourth round pick was due in court on March 15 in Salmon Arm, but court documents made public say his hearing was moved to April 12 at the request of the defense.
Fadden has a history of character issues, including in 2006 - his first draft eligible year - when he fell in the rankings due to indifferent play. He was traded from Seattle to Lethbridge that season at the trade deadline.
"We hear the T-Birds were fed up with his laziness on and off the ice," wrote Kyle Woodlief of the Red Line Report. "After watching his halfhearted efforts for three months, we're not shocked.
"Hopefully the trade wakes up Fadden because, heading into this year, he had arguably the best pair of pure sniper's hands in the draft. He's deadly from the circles in and has that sneaky knack for always shaking loose in scoring territory. There's still time for him to rehabilitate his draft stock, but it will take a complete attitude adjustment, and we're not sure the kid's mature enough to make such a quick 180-degree turnaround."
The Lightning selected Fadden a year and a half after Woodlief's report was written.
Fadden's on-ice talent, specifically his offensive ability, has never been questioned. He dominated the scoresheet in juniors, including 71 points in 54 games for Tri-City in 2008-2009. He was traded to Tri-City after a slow start to the year with Lethbridge, weeks after being returned to juniors by the Lightning and AHL Admirals.
Last season, in his first professional season with AHL Norfolk, Fadden barely made a dent on the scoresheet until late in the year, when he finished among the Admirals' most dangerous offensive weapons.
This season he was demoted to ECHL Florida to start the year, but instead of sulking all he did was lead the league in scoring with 51 points in 37 games until he was forced out of the lineup. He was also named an All-Star, but could not appear in the game.
Where Fadden ends up now is anyone's guess, but it won't be with the Lightning.