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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Devils Acquire Marek Zidlicky from Wild in Multi-Player Deal

The New Jersey Devils added some veteran depth to their blueline on Friday night by acquiring defenseman Marek Zidlicky from the Minnesota Wild in exchange for defenseman Kurtis Foster, right wing Nick Palmieri, left wing Stephane Veilleux, a second round pick in the 2012 Entry Draft, and a conditional draft pick in the 2013 Entry Draft. The second round pick was originally acquired by the Devils from the Washington Capitals last season in the Jason Arnott trade. The details of the conditional pick have yet to be released. Relations between Zidlicky and the Wild soured in recent days when it became known that he was not getting along with Head Coach Mike Yeo. In 41 games so far this season, Zidlicky has 14 assists. He missed 13 games this past November and December with a concussion. Foster, who was acquired by the Devils from the Anaheim Ducks this past December, has four goals and 10 assists for 14 points. He is currently day-to-day with a back injury. Palmieri has appeared in 29 games so far this season, scoring four goals and three assists for seven points. He has also played in 25 games with Albany of the AHL, scoring five goals and six assists for 11 points. Veilleux has gone scoreless in only one NHL game so far this season. He also appeared in 40 games with Albany, scoring 11 goals and 11 assists for 22 points. Both Foster and Veilleux are beginning their second stints with the Wild.

This is quite the trade for the Devils, as they gave up quite a bit to land Zidlicky, who still has one more year left on his current contract. However, the Devils had been seeking some veteran depth and offensive skill on the blueline and they got that in Zidlicky. He also has a good shot and is excellent on the power play. Despite his struggles this season in Minnesota, he should be a good fit in New Jersey, where the change of scenery will hopefully help him improve his game. As for the Wild, they definitely added quite a bit of depth in this deal. Foster will bring lots of size and offensive skill to their blueline, while Palmieri gives them a young forward with some offensive upside, good size, and a little bit of gritty play. Veilleux could see some time on their checking lines late in the season, but for now he will likely remain in the minors. Both Foster and Veilleux will be unrestricted free agents this summer, so it remains to be seen if the Wild will keep them beyond this season. More than likely, their play throughout the rest of the season will dictate whether or not they get a contract offer from Minnesota this summer.

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