Devils Retain Zidlicky, Lose Brodeur
The New Jersey Devils made a smart move on Tuesday, signing their top offensive defenseman Marek Zidlicky to a new contract. Zidlicky will be entering his fourth season with the team; he’s coming off a season in which he played 81 games, scoring 12 goals and racking up 30 assists for 42 points.
The 81 games were fifth best on the team, the 12 goals were seventh, the 30 assists were tied for third (with Travis Zajac), and the 42 points were fifth best. Judging by these numbers you can tell just how important Zidlicky is to this team. In a season where the team’s offense was tough to come by, Zidlicky was the Devils’ leading power play goal scorer with eight. Keeping that production will help big time, especially with any new additions the Devils may get.
Zidlicky, age 37, is the second older Czech player resigned by the Devils this offseason, along with Jaromir Jagr — both moves are going to really solidify the Devils next season. Even with the draft, free agency, and call ups, there is no denying the impact that these two veterans will have on the team. They were durable, which means they know how to last an entire NHL season, but they also provided the Devils with their best offensive numbers, leaving newcomers to the team the ability to ease into the system.
Martin Brodeur’s contract is up at the end of June. He has said, “I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m definitely going to be available July 1. I want to play one more season, and I want to see what’s out there.” It’s going to be interesting to see what suitors Brodeur attracts — and rejects — as he’s only going to want to play for a team that has a chance to win now. Whatever team gets him is going to be in for a fun season.