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Anyone interested in Marek Zidlicky?

Jan 23, 2012, 2:17 PM EDT

Marek Zidlicky Getty Images

Adding depth on defense is always a goal for Stanley Cup contenders as the trade deadline approaches. With that in mind, would any team be willing to take a chance on the Wild’s Marek Zidlicky?

According to Michael Russo of the StarTribune, the 34-year-old blue-liner, a healthy scratch Saturday versus the Stars, could be available.

Zidlicky, as you might have guessed, is having a down year. He’s yet to score a goal in 34 games and has just 11 assists – not great for an offensive defenseman that’s broken the 40-point barrier five times during his career. Though to be fair, part of his modest point total has to be attributed to the Wild’s forwards and the team’s style of play.

Zidlicky’s cap hit is $4 million and he’s signed until the end of next season.

So, which teams might be interested?

St. Louis – The Blues’ 26th-ranked power play is a glaring weakness heading into the postseason.

NY Rangers – Given the tough minutes Dan Girardi already plays, does he really need to be out there with the man advantage? He’s not exactly offensively gifted anyway.

Detroit – Tons of cap space and would provide Mike Babcock with an excuse to scratch Mike Commodore.

Vancouver – Sami Salo’s injury history is a worry and Zidlicky, like Salo, is a right-handed shot. Granted, the Canucks would have to clear significant cap space before they made this move. Could they interest the Wild in a Keith Ballard? He’s from Minnesota…would sadly be the main selling point.

  1. BReynolds - Jan 23, 2012 at 2:25 PM

    Zidlicky’s lack of production has little to do with the forwards or the team’s style of play. It has a whole lot to do with his inability to get off the blue line to pinch and get a scoring chance, and his strong desire to only shoot the puck into defenders shin pads.

    The style of play of Mike Yeo allows for the d-men to pinch and be aggressive. They aren’t doing so, including Zidlicky. As for the forwards, I would say their lack of production has more to do with Zidlicky’s inability to play the game he is paid to play, leading the charge and QB’ing the power play than the other way around.

  2. loinstache - Jan 23, 2012 at 2:31 PM

    Vancouver doesn’t want him; why replace expensive mediocrity with expensive mediocrity?

    • Jason Brough - Jan 23, 2012 at 2:55 PM

      Two reasons:
      1. Zidlicky is RH shot.
      2. Ballard is signed until 2014-15.

      • darthhamel - Jan 23, 2012 at 5:03 PM

        Could Raymond, Ballard be packaged for Zidlicky, Clutterbuck?

        Vancouver gets
        1. A RH top 4 D
        2. Added toughness that can still play for the bottom 6
        3. About a million in cap space for other parts at the deadline

        Wild get
        1. Top 6 forward, which is a big need of theirs
        2. Top 4 non-rental D

        Vancouver may need to throw in a middling prospect or a draft pick to make it work. Worth mentioning too, Zidlicky’s contract also ends right when Shae Weber could be a UFA.

      • greatminnesotasportsmind - Jan 23, 2012 at 8:00 PM

        @darthhamel

        That might be the dumbest trade proposal ever. Why would Minnesota take that trade?

        What would the Wild gain on defense? Trade Zidlicky who has 1 more year left after this year for Ballard who has 3 more after this year? Ballard has put up less points on a higher scoring team than Zidlicky has. The Wild are not trying to take on salary long term, as they are gonna make a run at Parise over the summer.

        Also, why would the Wild want to take on Raymond who is a RFA after the season, probably wanting to get a nice pay raise as well. As mentioned, the Wild would not want anything of that, they are 100% in on Parise over the summer. Clutterbuck has put up more points than Raymond and only has 1 more year left on his contact as well. Raymond already makes twice as much as Clutterbuck. That makes no sense for the Wild to trade away 2 players making less to take on bigger contracts for less production.

        The Wild only have 42.655 commited in salary next year. 3.52 of that is going towards 4 players that aren’t even on the team anymore, such as Mark Parrish. With the cap most likely going up from the 64.3 that is was it this year, that leaves 21.645 million minimum they are going to be able to spend. They have a ton a young talent such as Mikeal Granlund, Jason Zucker, Jonas Brodin, and Charlie Coyle most likely coming here next year making minimum salaries. They are going to be able to land Parise AND a decent defenseman as well. Taking on Raymond and Ballard makes ZERO sense for the Wild.

        Also, Raymond isn’t viewed here to kindly. After all he did punch a Wild fan.

      • darthhamel - Jan 24, 2012 at 9:59 AM

        I’ll agree its a bit lopsided, that’s why Vancouver would need to throw something else in, but I can’t agree with the rest of your assessment.

        Most glaringly you’re confusing Mason Raymond (a top 6 forward with a career 0.498 ppg) with Rick Rypien (a fourth line grinder with 0.134 ppg who passed away this summer). Clutterbuck’s ppg is 0.317, so Raymond would be a sizable upgrade.

        Swapping Zidlicky for Ballard won’t really effect a play for Parise, since Zidlicky will still have a year left on his contract when Parise is a UFA. It’s only an additional 200K.

        You’re also assuming the Wild would turn down scoring help now at an additional 800K, for the opportunity to offer Parise a little more money next year. 1/2 the NHL is going to make a run at him, and historically the Wild have had trouble getting high profile UFAs. Parise will get probably 10 offers for long term front end loaded contracts with a cap hit of about $6.5 million. I wouldn’t plan for the future on a 1/10 chance.

        Raymond can be resigned for about $3 million and put up 45-60 points a season, that would have put him in the top 3 forwards on the Wild last season and this season.

        If I’m the Wild I ask Vancouver to thrown in a 2nd rounder, a depth D or a bottom 6 grinder and make the deal.

      • darthhamel - Jan 24, 2012 at 10:29 AM

        Also Ballard and Zidlicky are comparable players despite their points differences.

        TOI PP TOI ES Points O-Zone Start
        Ballard 13:77 0:13 9 46.5%
        Zidlicky 15:90 3:19 7 52.6%

        Zidlicky only has more points because he gets a lot of power play time and gets to start most of his shifts in the offensive zone. In the seasons where Ballard has gotten top power play mins he has scored 20-40 points. The real issue for Vancouver is that they don’t have enough right side D. According to advanced stats Ballard is a better player than Zidlicky but he’s a bad fit in Vancouver and has a longer contract.

  3. obamablowz - Jan 23, 2012 at 3:43 PM

    NO!

  4. greatminnesotasportsmind - Jan 23, 2012 at 4:50 PM

    Zidlicky could be had for a broken stick and a bag of used pucks. He sucks.

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