Devils Turn to Zidlicky for Depth, Power Play
At the very least, Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello was looking for a more talented, experienced version of Kurtis Foster.
When the Devils traded for Wild defensemen Marek Zidlicky Friday night, they received that man the can hopefully quarterback their power play, and work well with a number of defensemen on the ice for New Jersey.
Zidlicky was publically unhappy with his role in Minnesota's program, and the Devils hope to find a place for the man who had eclipsed the 40-point total 5 times in his 8-year NHL career.
In two games for the Devils, Zidlicky has yet to record a point in a 4-3 loss to the Lightning on Sunday and a 2-0 loss to the Rangers on Monday.
Most importantly, the Devils hope that Zidlicky will be the defensemen they need to man the point on their power play, which ranks in the middle of the pack league-wide with a 16.6% rate.
New Jersey's power play did improve in the 28 games with Foster manning-the blue line. The teams' overall power play percentage rose 8% during those games.
Zidlicky, who said coming to the Devils was his first choice, will hopefully bring that same production. The Devils sent Foster, forward Nick Palmieri, forward Stephane Veilleux, and draft picks. Zidlicky had 13 points this season for the Wild.
In his first two games with the team, Zidlicky was paired with Anton Volchenkov, although there is a chance he might see time with other defensemen as the Devils head towards the playoffs.
New Jersey has allowed the most short-handed goals this season with 13, and they are hopeful that with a true defensemen on the blue line, that number will be halted.