First off let me say this: After being without a laptop for four days, it feels so good to be back. Moving on…
If you’ve paid attention to the multiple story lines throughout the NHL this season, one of the more peculiar ones has been the Minnesota Wild. Under rookie head coach Mike Yeo, the Wild were off to a hot start (20-7-3 at one point), turning heads around the league as a surprise team. Unfortunately, the star has started to fall and one of the players affected is Wild D Marek Zidlicky.
A healthy scratch for the past 3 games, Zidlicky broke hockey code and went to the media with his frustrations, claiming he would waive his no-trade clause if it mean he would play for his new team. At 35-years-old, Zidlicky is past his prime playing days but throughout his career has been a solid power-play performer. With the New York Rangers searching for answers on their dreadful power play, do they call GM Chuck Fletcher to inquire about Zidlicky’s services?
Continue reading for the answer.
Here’s the quote from Zidlicky about not playing and how it affects him (courtesy of Mike Russo of the Minnesota Star-Tribune)
“I can’t be quiet,” said Zidlicky, who turns 35 Friday. “If I would be a healthy scratch, if it helped the team, that’s good. I will not cry. I will not tell him he’s wrong. But if he doesn’t want to play me again, again, I have to do something.”
As mentioned before, Zidlicky has a no-trade clause that would need to be waived in order to consummate a deal. Zidlicky, who has scored 60 goals and 235 assists in 541 career games, has no goals and 11 assists in 34 games this season and is minus-9 his past 13 games. Not exactly the solid defensive player coach Tortorella likes to have, regardless of his track record with the man-advantage. On the other hand, we’ve seen what a change of scenery can do to a player and Zidlicky’s comments beg for a fresh start.
Zidlicky’s contract isn’t too reasonable for the Rangers at a $4 million cap-hit through the 2012-2013 season, either. If the Wild were crazy enough to take Wojtek Wolski and his expiring $3.8 million cap-hit, then a deal for Zidlicky wouldn’t be as horrible of an option. However, I don’t see the Rangers – who have several key free agents to deal with this summer – adding another $4 million in guaranteed money into the mix unless its a sure thing. Zidlicky is light-years away from a sure thing.
BOTTOM LINE: Taking Zidlicky’s age, recent poor play in conjunction with his lack of cooperation, and contract status into account, he’s certainly at the bottom of the list of players the Rangers should look to add to their squad.