Detroit has acquired Marek Zidlicky from the New Jersey Devils. A bonafide rental defenseman that immediately improves Detroit’s blue-line, and already elite-level special teams.
Marek Zidlicky is one of the highest impact players in terms of Corsi% for New Jersey. In 63 games, he put up a +2.6 CF%Rel, along with 4 goals, and 19 assists. He lead all Devils defensemen in power play scoring, with 3 goals, and 8 assists. There is no covering it up, the Devils are a very snakebitten team with a lot of issues. There’s a good chance that Zidlicky can step into Detroit’s lineup and flourish under a very strong system. His cap hit is $4 million, but New Jersey retained $1 million worth of salary in the deal, so that makes a good deal even better for the Wings. He will wear number 28, which oddly enough, was Brian Rafalski's number.
How does this affect the cap and roster situation?
My guess is that Zidlicky will be more sheltered in Detroit than he was in New Jersey, and it should be that way. He’s a 38 year old veteran, who certainly has regressed considerably. With Quincey injured, my guess is that he will slate right into the 2nd or 3rd pair, and leave a player like Jakub Kindl scratched. When Quincey returns there’s a good chance that there will be some shuffling going on. I would like to see Zidlicky on the third pair, seeing lots of offensive zone starts. He will immediately improve our special teams abilities as he can be a big impact with QBing the power play. There’s some speculation that this will make Alexey Marchenko the odd man out, but I don’t fully believe that. Tank has performed extremely well since coming here, so I think he’ll still be put into the lineup somewhere. In the absence of Capgeek, I'm not entirely certain about space, but based on how the cap number is calculated based on daily spending, the Wings have been banking extra cap room all year. Zidlicky's addition shouldn't put them over the cap by the end of the season, but if it is problematic, it's by a manner of thousands of dollars which can be solved between now and the end of the season with simple money-saving roster moves. Time will tell. Either way, I really like this trade.
What did it cost us?
Zidlicky was had for a 2016 3rd round draft pick. If Detroit goes to the Eastern Conference Finals, they add a 2015 5th round pick. If they go to the Stanley Cup Finals, they retain the 5th round pick, and the 3rd round pick becomes a 2nd round pick. These are assets that don’t directly effect the team right now, or the prospects that we have. It’s a great rental trade that offers a true weapon to Detroit’s defense.
What do you think, gang? I think it's a great move.. Do you?