Benched Zidlicky: 'I can't be quiet'
Two trade deadlines after the Wild signed defenseman Marek Zidlicky to a three-year contract extension, the Wild might now look to trade Zidlicky before this year’s Feb. 27 deadline.
The Wild has an unhappy veteran on its hands.
Zidlicky was a healthy scratch for a third game in a row Tuesday night, and in a bruise to his pride, it came against his former team, the Nashville Predators. During an unsolicited interview after Tuesday’s morning skate, Zidlicky said he would consider waiving his no-trade clause if he continues not to play.
Zidlicky, who had a long, animated conversation with Mike Yeo on the ice in November, said he has butted heads with the coach over his high-risk, high-reward style and can’t simply change at 34 years old.
“I can’t be quiet,” said Zidlicky, who turns 35 Friday. “If I would be a healthy scratch, if it helped the team, that’s good. I will not cry. I will not tell him he’s wrong. But if he doesn’t want to play me again, again, I have to do something.”
Yeo wasn’t pleased Zidlicky aired his grievances publicly.
“One thing for sure, we’re going to talk,” Yeo said an hour before Tuesday’s game. “This is not the right way to handle it.”
Yeo said he never has asked Zidlicky to change his game, but when he says he can’t, “It speaks to the buy-in. … I want them to be themselves, to play their game, but to do it within the team concept.
“There are very, very clear expectations for every player.”