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New Jersey Devils GM Lou Lamoriello has actually made a couple good trades this year.
Early in the season, he acquired defenseman Kurtis Foster without giving up a roster player. In late January he got Alexei Ponikarovsky to help with production, and that's worked out wonderfully; in 15 games since joining the Devils, Ponikarovsky has put up five goals and six assists.
The problem is, that's not where the trading ended. With the trade deadline quickly approaching, Lou decided to address a major team need: puck-moving defensemen.
Looking at the available d-men, he apparently saw something in Marek Zidlicky, and pulled the trigger on a deal.
Marek Zidlicky may be a great player for the Devils. He apparently has a long-standing friendship with Patrik Elias and, to a lesser extent, with Petr Sykora. The problem is what was given up.
Ignoring the fact that the deal involved a second-round pick, a conditional third-round pick and Stephane Veilleux, the two main pieces headed to Minnesota were Nick Palmieri and Kurtis Foster.
Nick Palmieri is a young talent and still developing. He hasn't yet been too impressive in the NHL, but he's put up 25 points in 79 games over the last three seasons.
Foster was a mixed bag. On the one hand, during 28 games with the Devils, he posted a minus-nine rating. On the other hand, his presence on the power play helped to drastically slow the pace of shorthanded goals given up by the New Jersey. He put up 12 points with the Devils, including two power-play goals.
Marek Zidlicky is a very capable defender. In his first six seasons, he had 270 points, averaging fewer than 20 minutes a game only once. Since then, though, he's seen a drop-off, with just 38 points over the last two seasons. He also has not yet scored a goal this season.
Zidlicky is talented, but until he proves that he can play at the level he's played at previously, this goes down as a bad trade.
I usually trust Lou on trades, but he's not infallible. Time will tell if this works out, but it certainly doesn't look even right now.