Analyzing the New Jersey Devils Acquiring Marek Zidlicky from the Minnesota Wild

Joseph KuchieCorrespondent IFebruary 24, 2012

TORONTO, CANADA - JANUARY 19:  Marek Zidlicky #3 of the Minnesota Wild waits for a faceoff in a game against the Toronto Maple Leafs on January 19, 2012 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada. The Leafs defeated the Wild 4-1. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
Claus Andersen/Getty Images

During an intense 2-1 loss to the Vancouver Canucks, New Jersey Devils GM Lou Lamoriello was busy making moves before the Monday trade deadline by acquiring Marek Zidlicky from the Minnesota Wild.

According to multiple sources, The Devils received the veteran defenseman for wingers Stephane Veilleux, Nick Palmieri, defenseman Kurtis Foster, and two draft picks for 2012 and 2013. Zidlicky is expected to make $4 million this season and $4 million next season.

While many fans thought New Jersey gave up too much for the disgruntled 35-year-old defenseman, the trade may actually be a steal for the Devils in the end for a number of reasons.

For one, Kurtis Foster has not been the offensive threat the Devils expected him to be when they acquired him from the Anaheim Ducks. In 28 games with New Jersey, Foster only managed to score three goals with nine assists and a -9 rating, and also missed some time with injury.

His presence on the power play, something he was expected to fix, never made the impact to improve the low-ranked unit.

Veilleux was nothing more then a fourth-line call up for the Devils, as he was sent back to the AHL before tonight's game against Vancouver. Veilleux only played one game with New Jersey and hasn't played a full season since 2009-2010.

Palmieri may have been the best prospect Minnesota received in this deal, but he has struggled this year after having an impressive 2010-2011 season.

Palmieri only managed to score four goals in 29 games and couldn't find a groove before head coach Pete DeBoer decided to go in a different direction on the third line.

The 22-year-old forward has a lot of potential, but the Devils are going for a "right now" mentality that Palmieri didn't fit into.

Palmieri may be the best player in this deal, but not for 2012
Palmieri may be the best player in this deal, but not for 2012Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Even the draft picks shouldn't bother Devils fans, as the second-round pick was actually from Washington as part of the Jason Arnott trade last season and the other was a 2013 conditional pick.

According to Tom Gulitti of The Record, the conditional pick is a third-rounder that the Wild will receive only if the Devils make the conference finals and Zidlicky plays 75 percent of the time during the first two rounds of the 2012 playoffs.

As for Zidlicky, he will potentially bring a point man to a power play that has not only struggled over the past two seasons but has also given up the most short-handed goals in the NHL.

The Devils attempted to stop the bleeding by bringing in Foster earlier this season, but Zidlicky is considered to be the better option as he has scored 10 power-play goals in a season twice in his career.

Zidlicky also has a great chemistry with Devils veterans Patrik Elias and Petr Sykora. According to Rich Chere of The Star-Ledger. Zidlicky and his family went to Florida with the Elias and Sykora families during the All-Star Break, and Elias is expected to pick Zidlicky up at the airport and give him a place to stay.

Although Foster was a well-liked player in the locker room, Zidlicky should bring a bond to the team that they need to go deep into the playoffs.

Perhaps this trade doesn't look great for the long run, but the Devils and Lamoriello are planning for the 2012 playoffs and what they can do this year.

Zidlicky will bring the offensive defenseman that the team has needed this year, and he should be able to fill in the holes left by the injuries to Adam Larsson and the rest of the defensive unit.

So Devils fans, don't fret. Everything should be okay for the rest of the season.