Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Zidlicky Soap Opera Ends

Minutes prior to Saturday night's game against Dallas, defenseman Marek Zidlicky was pulled from the lineup. Not to long afterward, the entire world found out Zidlicky was finally shipped out to New Jersey. In exchange for 'Z', the Wild received D Kurtis Foster, F Stephane Veilleux (Both former Wild players), F Nick Palmieri, a 2012 2nd round pick, and a conditional 2013 3rd round pick (The pick hinges on whether or not the Devils make it to the Eastern Finals and Zidlicky plays in 75% of those playoff games).

This move needed to happen. The Wild needed to dump Zidlicky. He had been a cancer to the team, since asking to be traded on January 31st, and his play during that time sure didn't help him or the team whatsoever. Zidlicky had been a great offensive defenseman (5 times in his career he topped the 40 point mark in a season), but he lacked effort and often clashed with coach Mike Yeo. And Yeo showed no mercy towards his highest paid defenseman, when he wound up scratching him more frequently as of late.

Meanwhile, the team gets a couple of well respected players on and off the ice(Foster and Veilleux) and a decent prospect (Palmieri). As Russo points out, Foster (4 G, 10 A, 14 P in 37 G) and Palmieri (4-3-7 in 29 G) will for sure be in the lineup sunday against the Sharks at Xcel Energy Center, and Veilleux will be headed to Houston, but look for him up with the Wild soon. Clearly the move will help bolster the atmosphere in a very dead locker room. Oh and don't forget, the team got two (2012 2nd round, and a conditional 2013 3rd round) draft picks, which will help beef up an already stellar farm system.

The drama surrounding Marek Zidlicky has come to an end. He got his wish and was shipped out of town, and the Wild got a very decent haul for his services for not only this year, but the following season as well (He is under contract for $4 million in 2012-13). If you are Chuck Fletcher right now, you have to be giving yourself a pat on the back. You took advantage of a weak trade market for D-Men three days before the trade deadline, and traded an almost useless player on a fading team to a contending team for a ridiculous return (Even if Foster and Veilleux, both UFA's on July 1st, don't return in 2012-13, the Wild still have Palmieri and the draft picks).

Now lets put all this behind us and hope Fletcher can swing a similar deal for Greg Zanon and his expiring contract at season's end too...

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