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Despite long odds, Dallas Stars player bags country legend George Strait's lid

By Allan Muir

This might be the neatest hat trick of Vernon Fiddler's career.

The Stars center was front and center at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on Saturday night for country music legend George Strait's final gig. Strait is retiring from the tour grind at age 60.

According to a report from WKRN TV in Nashville, Strait tossed his iconic cowboy hat into the record-setting crowd of more than 105,000 fans before he left the stage for the last time ... and Fiddler came away with the souvenir.

"It boomeranged around a few people and it landed literally on my lap," Fiddler told WKRN, adding that he was just in the right place at the right time.

“Of all the people there, I can’t believe I’m the one that got the hat.”

The 34-year-old Fiddler, a versatile role player with an edgy game, is set to become a free agent this summer and hopes to cash in on a successful final season in Dallas that saw him score 23 points (six goals, 17 assists) in 76 games and help the Stars reach the playoffs for the first time since 2008. But if the big offer doesn't come, the hat might help fatten his bank account. He says he’s received "substantial cash offers" for the souvenir, but as a big fan of Strait, he's not ready to flip it just yet.

"It's definitely something you'd have to consider," he said. "But I'm just not interested at this point in time."
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