According to a tweet by TSN's Bob McKenzie, Minnesota Wild defenseman Marek Zidlicky "has waived his NTC (no-trade clause)" in order to become part of a trade that would send him to the New Jersey Devils.
A deal has not yet been completed between Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello and Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher, but one is certainly in the works, as indicated by Zidlicky's willingness to void his no-trade clause with one more year on his current contract that will see him earn $4 million.
After posting 40 or more points, including a 50-point campaign, in five of the last seven seasons, Zidlicky has struggled during the 2011-2012 season, putting up modest numbers by notching 13 assists for 13 points in 39 total games played. It has also been speculated that Zidlicky has not gotten along with first-year Wild head coach Mike Yeo, and was even listed as a healthy scratch for back-to-back games earlier in the year.
With injuries to rookie sensation Adam Larsson and veteran Henrik Tallinder, the Devils are most likely interested in Zidlicky as an integral, puck-moving defenseman who could bring some offensive flare to an otherwise dismal blue-line attack.
As far as how Zidlicky’s presence could improve New Jersey’s special teams play, the Devils’ power play has picked up the slack lately and currently sits 18th in the NHL, scoring on about 17 percent of its opportunities.
Zidlicky is touted as something of a power-play specialist, evidenced by the stat that 42 of his 60 career goals have been scored on the man advantage. Clearly Zidlicky has the chops to take the Devils’ power play to new heights, and given that he will be flanked by the likes of Patrik Elias, Zach Parise and Ilya Kovalchuk, one could argue that he is the perfect fit for New Jersey.
The 35-year-old Czech believes that a change of scenery and the opportunity to operate in a new system will be enough to get him back to his scoring ways and, clearly, the Devils agree.
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