NHL

Zidlicky saga far from over for Wild

Hockey Primetime Blake Benzel
Share This Story

   
 

There is an elephant in the Minnesota Wild’s locker room.

It wears No. 3.

On Jan. 31, defenseman Marek Zidlicky complained of poor treatment from the coaching staff after being scratched for the third straight game, even seeking out Mike Russo, the Wild’s beat writer for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, to air his complaints.

“I can’t be quiet,” Zidlicky told Russo. “If I would be a healthy scratch, if it helped the team, that’s good. I will not cry. I will not tell [Wild coach Mike Yeo] he’s wrong. But if he doesn’t want to play me again, again, I have to do something.”

That something turned out to be publicly waiving his no-trade clause to go to the New Jersey Devils — something that turned out to be an unsolicited action on the part of Zidlicky and his camp, which was confirmed by Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher shortly thereafter.

“We haven’t traded Zid,” Fletcher told Russo. “We haven’t made the decision to trade Zid at this point. I have not formally asked him to do anything because at this point I honestly don’t have anything to take to him, I don’t have anything for him to say yes or no to.”

It was a public move by Zidlicky and his camp that did nothing but buy him ill will from the Wild’s fan base and make it painfully apparent that the veteran defenseman wanted nothing to do with Minnesota anymore.

But Zidlicky’s play over his last few games hasn’t shown he’s on his way out. If anything, it has shown that he’s auditioning for another team in the midst of a truly horrific season that has seen the 35-year-old tally just 13 assists in 40 games this season.

Zidlicky has two assists in his last three games and has logged significant minutes in all but one of his last five.

While he might not necessarily be out of Yeo’s dog house right now, the coach seems content to let Zidlicky’s desire to showcase his talents shine in the brief time that he may have left with the squad.

Top 10 unbreakable NHL records

SAFE AND SOUND

Some records are made to be broken. But not these top 10 unbreakable NHL records.

Still, despite being the biggest bargaining chip that the offensively challenged Wild might have for more scoring punch, there is no guarantee that Zidlicky is moved before the Feb. 27 trade deadline.

“Maybe he’s here next trade deadline and we’re having the same conversation,” Fletcher told Mike Russo, also intimating that he won’t be boxed into a trade with one specific team or boxed in by trading him closer to the deadline, saying that he could take advantage of Zidlicky’s limited no-trade clause over the summer that would make him significantly easier to move.

Whether Zidlicky is moved by Feb. 27 or not is uncertain, but one thing is clear: Zidlicky is currently playing motivated hockey.

Northwest Division notes:

The Vancouver Canucks were rated the NHL’s most overrated team in a Hockey Night in Canada players’ poll, with 24 percent of the respondents naming the reigning Western Conference Champions. … David Booth finally seems to have regained the form that made him a rising superstar prior to the hit on Oct. 24, 2009 by Mike Richards. After struggling for a couple of seasons and being traded by the Florida Panthers just six games into this season, Booth has 11 goals and 22 points with the Canucks. … Edmonton Oilers coach Tom Renney is still on the shelf, battling post-concussion symptoms stemming from a puck to the head on Feb. 6. … Nikolai Khabibulin will be out 7-10 days for the Oilers after suffering a groin injury in Sunday’s 5-2 loss to the Canucks. … Colorado Avalanche forward Matt Duchene returned to the lineup on Sunday after missing seven weeks with a knee injury. Duchene had zero points and zero shots in 18:06 of ice time. … A big reason why the Calgary Flames have surged into playoff contention is the play of goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff. Kiprusoff is 10-3-3 with a 1.65 goals-against average in his last 16 games. … Al MacInnis will have his number retired by the Flames on Feb. 27. MacInnis was drafted 15th overall by the Flames in 1981 and holds the franchise record in assists with 609. … The Minnesota Wild’s win on Sunday over the Boston Bruins was just the team’s sixth in the past two months.

Tagged: Flames, Oilers, Flyers, Avalanche, Canucks, Panthers, Wild, Marek Zidlicky, Mike Richards

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by



Play Hockey Simulation Game on WhatIfSports

NHL Videos

Toews, Kane: Easy decision to resign with Blackhawks Posted: Jul 17, 2014
Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane say their decision to sign matching 8-year, $84M...

LA mayor 'F-bombs' Kings rally Posted: Jun 17, 2014
Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti toasts the Stanley Cup champion Kings in front o...

Kings, fans celebrate Stanley Cup Posted: Jun 16, 2014
Kings players celebrate winning the Stanley Cup with a parade through downtown L...

More Than Sports on MSN

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Reebok Sidney Crosby Pittsburgh Penguins Premier Hockey Jersey - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Pittsburgh_Penguins/browse/featuredproduct/175178/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_175000/FF_175178_xl.jpg&w=100 159.95 Reebok Sidney Crosby Pittsburgh Penguins Premier Hockey Jersey - Black
    Reebok Dallas Stars White Premier Hockey Jersey http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Dallas_Stars/browse/featuredproduct/243363/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_243000/FF_243363_xl.jpg&w=100 124.95 Reebok Dallas Stars White Premier Hockey Jersey
    Reebok Tampa Bay Lightning Primary Logo T-Shirt - Royal Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Tampa_Bay_Lightning/browse/featuredproduct/301017/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_301000/ff_301017_xl.jpg&w=100 19.95 Reebok Tampa Bay Lightning Primary Logo T-Shirt - Royal Blue
    Majestic Anaheim Ducks Black Official Logo Full Zip Hoodie Sweatshirt http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Anaheim_Ducks/browse/featuredproduct/398322/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_398000/FF_398322_xl.jpg&w=100 43.99 Majestic Anaheim Ducks Black Official Logo Full Zip Hoodie Sweatshirt
    Detroit Red Wings Youth Black Southpaw Backpack http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Detroit_Red_Wings/browse/featuredproduct/403205/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_403000/FF_403205_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Detroit Red Wings Youth Black Southpaw Backpack
    Reebok Chicago Blackhawks #88 Patrick Kane Red Premier Hockey Jersey http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Chicago_Blackhawks/browse/featuredproduct/408123/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_408000/FF_408123_xl.jpg&w=100 159.95 Reebok Chicago Blackhawks #88 Patrick Kane Red Premier Hockey Jersey
    Majestic New Jersey Devils Red Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_Jersey_Devils/browse/featuredproduct/456774/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_456000/ff_456774_xl.jpg&w=100 47.99 Majestic New Jersey Devils Red Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt
    Vancouver Canucks 2011 NHL Western Conference Champions Hockey Stick http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Vancouver_Canucks/browse/featuredproduct/665779/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_665000/ff_665779_xl.jpg&w=100 11.95 Vancouver Canucks 2011 NHL Western Conference Champions Hockey Stick
    Majestic New York Islanders Royal Blue Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_York_Islanders/browse/featuredproduct/752594/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_752000/ff_752594_xl.jpg&w=100 47.99 Majestic New York Islanders Royal Blue Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt