Zidlicky scratched for first time as a Wild
Right when they brought up Nate Prosser yesterday with no injuries to defensemen, I figured Zidlicky was on his way out fo the lineup if we woke up this morning and found nobody traded.
The way Zidlicky played the past two games, something had to be done. It’s one thing not to score, and we’ve written on and on about his offensive woes. But it’s another to continue to play a guy that’s a defensive liability constantly.
Like I said about Marco Scandella when he was reassigned to rediscover his game, the Wild doesn’t score enough to be able to afford a defenseman who’s giving up scoring chances every other shift. Zidlicky is a minus-5 the past two games.
“It’s not an easy [decision], but we’re forced into hard decisions,” coach Mike Yeo said. “We’ve been stumbling for a long time here. Our team can’t be as good as we can be until everybody starts playing as good as we can play and all of us starts being as good as we can be. Marek has the potential to be really good.”
Zidlicky wasn’t pleased and wasn’t commenting. It’s a blow to his ego, but the Wild needs a better Marek Zidlicky. It’ll be interesting to see what happens here. I’m sure Zidlicky will be back in the lineup soon, but with the Feb. 27 trade deadline coming up, you know the Wild would be willing to part with him and I’m thinking getting him to waive his no-trade clause after a year like this won’t be difficult.
Problem: Is he coveted? He turns 35 on Feb. 3. He makes $4 million next season. He has zero goals, and this is a defenseman with an elite shot and elite play-making skills. But he doesn’t use his shot as much, he’s not making plays and he’s been defensively all over the place.