Mitch Fadden had injury issues in 2009-10, that stunted his development with the Tampa Bay Lightning organization. He played in a total of 53 games for the Norfolk Admirals, scoring 7 goals and 12 assists in a lackluster season. 2010-11 looked like it was going to be a comeback year for him.
And through the early going of the 2010-11 season, his comeback attempt went swimmingly with the ECHL Florida Everblades. Fadden scored 15 goals and 36 assists in 37 games for the 'Blades... A roster move by the Lightning and an open roster spot in Norfolk with the AHL Norfolk Admirals was all he needed to continue his ascension.
But things changed suddenly in January when Fadden was diagnosed with a blood clot in his leg. His season was likely over. Just a matter of days ago, however, Fadden stopped taking blood thinners for his clot issue and the potential for his return for the ECHL playoffs was there.
But now, his tenure in the Tampa Bay Lightning system seems to be all but over. News broke this afternoon via Twitter that Fadden had been placed on unconditional waivers, a move that was likely preceding contract termination. Fans, myself included, were left in a state of surprise by this sudden news.
Damian Cristodero of the St. Pete Times, reported via Twitter that this stemmed from an incident in British Columbia where Fadden was arrested for possible DUI on March 2nd.
The Salmon Arm Observer reported at the time on the incident, and cited the series of near-collisions and traffic violations that led to Fadden being stopped by RCMP officers:
When police located the vehicle on 10th Avenue, the driver got out of the vehicle and was immediately observed to be grossly intoxicated. He was arrested, and once returned to the RCMP detachment, the man refused to provide a breath test and became violent with officers.
The suspect was held in custody and appeared in court March 2.
Mitchell D. Fadden, 22, of Salmon Arm is now facing charges of impaired driving, failing to provide a breath sample, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle and obstructing a peace officer. He will be back in Salmon Arm Provincial Court March 15.
This is a rather disappointing road bump, if not overall dead-end, to a young player's career. It also serves as an overall organizational message from Steve Yzerman to the rest of his players in the organization -- there will be little tolerance by the franchise when such personal recklessness occurs.