NHL Trade Rumors: New Jersey Devils Acquire Veteran Defenseman Marek Zidlicky

Mark FischerContributor IIFebruary 25, 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

The New Jersey Devils have added veteran defenseman Marek Zidlicky, in hopes of revitalizing the disgruntled 35-year-old's career.

Zidlicky has become a non-factor in Minnesota after reportedly butting heads with first year head coach, Mike Yeo.

A former 40-point scorer, Zidlicky possesses the tools to quarterback the Devils' powerplay unit, which currently ranks 18th in the NHL.

Since right handed offensive defenseman are a rare breed in today's NHL, consider the right handed Zidlicky a solid pickup for Lou Lamoriello and company.

Zidlicky has one year remaining on his current contract, which will pay him $4 million.

In exchange for the Czechoslovakian native, the Wild acquired Nick Palmieri, Kurtis Foster, Stephane Veilleux, a second round draft pick in 2012, and a conditional third round draft pick in 2013.

The Wild receive the latter pick if: the Devils reach the Eastern Conference Finals and Zidlicky plays in 75 percent of the first two rounds.

A clear case of quantity over quality.

While Palmieri is just 22, he's already blown numerous opportunities to become a staple in the Devils' lineup. Though he possesses a large frame, he rarely throws his body around, making him ineffective in the dirty areas. One can only wonder if the potential is still there.

Foster, the poster boy for NHL journey men all over, is returning to a place he called home from 2005-2006 to 2009-2010. Since then, he's jumped around from Tampa Bay, Edmonton, Anaheim, to New Jersey. His defensive game is atrocious, his plus-minus - 14, despite facing weak competition, is evident of just that.

However, his booming slapshot on the powerplay helps overshadow his defensive woes.


Stephane Veilleux, also a former Wild, has spent the majority of the season with the Devils' minor league affiliate, the Albany Devils. Unfortunately a long-term career in the NHL doesn't appear to be in the books for the former third round draft pick.

Foster and Veilleux are slated to become UFAs at season's end, while Palmieri will be an RFA.

Zidlicky will be granted a fresh start in New Jersey, while the Wild pick up a couple spare parts in Foster and Veilleux, a 22-year-old with questionable potential, a second, and a conditional third round draft pick.

For now, a win for both parties.

However, bet on the draft picks and the play of Zidicky as ultimately being the deciding factors in the long run.