Friday, February 24, 2012

Zidlicky to the Swamp

2011/2012 Stats2012July 1st Details
To New JerseyPosAgeGPGAPCap HitYearsCap Hit
Marek ZidlickyD354101414$4m1$4m
To MinnesotaPosAgeGPGAPCap HitYearsCap Hit
Kurtis FosterD303741014$1.8m0UFA
Nick PalmieriF2229437$802k0RFA
Stephane VeilleuxF302000$525k0UFA
2012 2nd Round Draft Pick
2013 Conditional Draft Pick

The New Jersey Devils ended up paying a fair sized ransom for struggling Minnesota Wild defenseman Marek Zidlicky on Friday night, sending three players, including defenseman Kurtis Foster and young forward Nick Palmieri, not to mention some veteran depth and a couple of picks.

The Devils have not had a great puck-moving defenseman since Brian Rafalski left town, some years ago, and now with the team on the verge of possibly making some noise in the Eastern Conference playoff picture, this was a hole that needed to be filled.  Foster, who is going to Minnesota in the deal, was thought to possibly be that guy to help the team forward, but after a miserable start in Anaheim and no rebound in New Jersey, the decision was easy to make to send him the other way.  The question now is whether or not Zidlicky can get back to some of the form that made him into a 40+ point defenseman.

The Wild are not too far out of the Western Conference playoff picture, nor are they really turning themselves into sellers with this deal.  Zidlicky has been a healthy scratch for a number of games recently and so they are in essence, moving a player who doesn't play in for two, if not three, roster players, that can help them immediately in that push.

Palmieri has been in the Devils organization a long time without having much success in cracking the line-up and he could be the real key in the Wild side of the deal.  Palmieri had a good scoring touch as a junior player, but the defense-first of the Devils may have hindered that progress.  The Wild have a different look about them now, which could help the kid's cause.

Salary CapAgainst the cap, the Devils had room to take on a little extra from Zidlicky and now was the time to do it for them.  The Wild get to drop some cap space, not like they really needed to, but this will also transcend into the 2013 season as well, where Zidlicky had another year at $4 million on him.  The Wild are in great shape at the moment, if they want to re-tool a bit in the off-season, while the Devils are trying to make sure they have enough room for when Zach Parise heads to market (or hopefully before then).

ImplicationsThree players are pool players in this trade, one of which is in the draft again.  Zidlicky was taken in the second waiver draft after being dropped in the first one and this deal could only do good things for Allan S., who currently has a team ranked 10th in the standings.  Allan's team is 29 points out of the money and there is no way that this trade would see an increase like this, but it would at least start it, in theory.

Foster and Palmieri are on the sheet, but neither are all that popular.

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