May 16, 2013, 11:18 AM EDT
New Jersey GM Lou Lamoriello confirmed on Wednesday he’d like to have last year’s top d-man scorer, Marek Zidlicky, return to the Devils for 2013-14.
“We’d certainly like to have him back,” Lamoriello told Tom Gulitti of the Bergen Record.
Zidlicky, 36, is in the final season of a three-year, $12 million deal signed with Minnesota in 2010.
He came to New Jersey at the ’12 trade deadline and paid immediate dividends, scoring nine points in 24 playoff games while averaging nearly 24 minutes a night as the Devils made a surprising run to the Stanley Cup finals.
Last year, he led all Devils blueliners in points, with 19, while appearing in all 48 games — no small feat for an injury-plagued Devils team (Zidlicky and Andy Greene were the only two defensemen to accomplish it).
Zidlicky’s future with the Devils could be decided by how he wants to play the market.
This year’s UFA defenseman crop isn’t especially strong — Zidlicky, along with Mark Streit, Sergei Gonchar, Ron Hainsey, Robyn Regehr and Ryan Whitney headline the field — and, even though he’ll be 37 next season, Zidlicky is still a quality offensive defenseman who can log 20 minutes a night.
Those aren’t easy to come by.
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