Marek Zidlicky is a world-class offensive defenseman. But his tenure with the Minnesota Wild went horribly wrong, as evidenced by the team’s gruesome 2-14-5 record in the last 21 games he has been in its lineup.
The Wild posted a 13-4 record in the last 17 games he has missed with an injury or as a “healthy scratch.” For whatever reason, Zidlicky and Wild coach Mike Yeo did not make a love connection this season.
Zidlicky has no goals, just 13 assists and a minus-7 rating in 39 games. He has looked like a shell of his former self.
So it’s no surprise that Minnesota is working on a deal to send him to the New Jersey Devils. Agent Larry Kelly confirmed that to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
This trade would allow the Wild to offload Zidlicky’s $4 million salary for next season and perhaps achieve addition by subtraction. The Devils would gain a proven puck-rusher for its injury-depleted defense and potentially upgrade its power play.
New Jersey looks capable of making a long playoff run this season and Zidlicky could aid that quest once he regained his usual form.
Zidlicky waived his no-trade protection to facilitate that deal. Given the fact that New Jersey hopes to retain pending free agent Zach Parise for next season and beyond, we’re guessing the Devils will want Minnesota to take back some salary in the swap.