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Yeo on Zidlicky: “That’s not the right way to handle it”

Jan 31, 2012, 8:43 PM EDT

Mike Yeo, Mikko Koivu, Dany Heatley, Marek Zidlicky, Cal Clutterbuck, Devin Setoguchi AP

Marek Zidlicky wasn’t shy about airing his grievances after Minnesota Wild coach Mike Yeo made him a healthy scratch for another game. To little surprise, Yeo isn’t very happy about the way Zidlicky has reacted to the situation, as Yeo relayed some pointed responses to Minnesota beat reporter Michael Russo.

“One thing for sure, we’re going to talk,” Yeo said. “This is not the right way to handle it. Much the same as I wouldn’t want a player to pick up the newspaper one day and read something like, ‘Woah, I didn’t know the coach thought that.’ Like, come into talk to me if there’s a problem.”

Zidlicky criticized the way Yeo has been utilizing him in the Wild’s scheme, as the offensive defenseman has seen his role diminish substantially lately – especially this season. Yeo clearly isn’t thrilled about Zidlicky’s claim that Yeo is demanding that the defenseman ignore his instincts and play “easy hockey.”

“One problem for me is when he says I can’t change,” Yeo said. “1) One it speaks to the buy-in for me, but 2) I don’t want him to change. I don’t ask Cal Clutterbuck to change. I don’t ask Matt Cullen to change. I don’t ask Mikko Koivu, Dany Heatley, any of these guys. I haven’t asked Marek Zidlicky to change either. I want them to be themselves, to play their game, but to do it within the team concept. That’s it.”

While it’s pretty tough to imagine Zidlicky playing another game for Yeo, the Wild coach gave an understandably vague answer when asked about how he’ll handle the defenseman if he returns to the lineup: “We’ll worry about tomorrow tomorrow.”

The educated guess is that GM Chuck Fletcher will be the one dealing with the “tomorrow – tomorrow” issue instead, though.

  1. sknut - Jan 31, 2012 at 10:05 PM

    This isn’t going to end well, I figuered once he was scratched for a third straight game Zids was going to flip. Not sure what a realistic return for him is but I would imagine he is as good as gone. It will be interesting to see if they do play him in their next game. And you know its bad when a team that is desperate for offense especially from their D sits their top O-Dman.

  2. grbull - Feb 1, 2012 at 2:04 AM

    So far spurgeon has been the most effective offensive defenseman this season…I think with more time to develop he will put up more points than zid in future seasons, won’t mind one bit if the wild unload zid and zanon this season and stick with the younger and harder working prospects

  3. bethgoesglobal - Feb 1, 2012 at 7:05 AM

    I’ve read a rumors, prior to last nights game, that there are teams interested in him, and if so the Wild could possibly get the chance to pick up some good offensive talent. Plenty of playoff contenders would welcome an experienced offensive D-man including the San Jose Sharks who have a good trading relationship with the Wild. Maybe Zid’s remarks are telling us/Yeo that he would like to be traded to team with a better chance to make a real run at the Cup? He’s getting older and the clock is ticking. I believe that come Feb 28th Zid will no longer be wearing a Wild jersey.

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