40-Year-Old Defenseman – Free Agent
Marek Zidlicky Contract Information:
Zidlicky signed a one-year contract with the Islanders in September of 2015.
Zidlicky will draw back into the lineup Friday in Florida, Arthur Staple of Newsday reports.
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RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
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Currently an unrestricted free agent, Zidlicky is a puck-moving blueliner coming off a seven-goal, 34-point season split between the Red Wings and Devils. Although heís 38 years old and has been somewhat brittle the last two years, Zidlicky can still be a capable source of offensive production for a team looking for extra scoring skill on the power play. Six of Zidlicky's seven goals came on the man advantage last season, and he also contributed 56 PIM to supplement his fantasy value. With Zidlicky suggesting that he plans on suiting up in 2015-16, expect him to eventually find a deal when interested suitors come closer to his asking price.
Arguably one of the teamís most enigmatic players, Zidlicky led the team in blueline scoring, scattering 42 points over 81 games. Eight of his 12 goals came on the power play, but Zidlicky typically binged on points, scoring for multiple games at a time and then vanishing completely. Heís a frustrating player to own and not the greatest in his own end, but he possesses a skill set the Devils find necessary. If you opt for Zidlickyís services, prepare to be frustrated, as heíll do enough every few games to remind you he has some value...right before disappearing again.
Zidlicky's performances at times last season was a comedy of errors. He's prone to the huge defensive mistake but he will still see boatloads of power play time because the Devils don't have many better options on the blue line. Zidlicky can show flashes of offensive skill and he should see more chances now that Ilya Kovalchuk is no longer on the Devils. Zidlicky scattered 19 points over 48 games last season, averaging over two shots per-contest. He's a decent option simply because of the time he'll see on the power play, however his upside is limited. He's no longer the playmaker he used to be; best to use him to fill out the final spots of your blue line corps.
Formerly one of the leagueís most consistent scoring defensemen, Zidlicky had a horrific start to last year with Minnesota before being traded to New Jersey prior to the deadline. The Devils had a glaring need for a power-play quarterback, but Zidlicky didnít light up the scoresheet upon arriving in Newark, notching eight points in 22 games with New Jersey. Heís never been a big goal scorer in his career, but the Devils are hoping he can feed Ilya Kovalchuk consistently on the power play and make a great outlet pass to start the attack. Be cautious about the 35-year old Zidlicky, but heís just a season removed from notching 43 points and he can still dish the puck. Expect him to make a run at 30 points.
The Wild had to make do without Zidlicky for 32 games last year, as the play-making defenseman had sustained various injuries to his lower body and also dealt with an ailing shoulder. Assuming he can shake off the injury bug this year, Zidlicky is not someone you want to overlook in fantasy hockey. He's collected 93 points (23 G, 70 A) on the power play over the past five seasons, and is a good bet to land in the range of 40 total points in his next full season.
While Zidlicky's goal scoring was down last season, he turned in his typical season with lots of production on the power play. He made up for just three power-play goals with 20 power-play assists. He could move up to the 50-point level if the Wild move to a more open attack and with Cam Barker helping improve the scoring touch of the defensive corps.
Zidlicky's expertise is his work on the power play. He had 10 of his 12 goals last season with the man advantage and 25 of his 44 total points. His value is directly tied to his time on the power play unit, and numbers like those should insure that he'll remain on the ice when the Wild are one up on the opponent. He's just 32 years old, so his skills - and production - should be able to hold steady this season.
The Wild acquired Zidlicky from Nashville to anchor their power play with Brent Burns for this season and beyond. He's an excellent skater with the man advantage and will be an asset to Minnesota when paired with Burns and top scorer Marion Gaborik. Over half of his 43 points came on the power play last season. He's notched over 30 points in each of the last three seasons.
Zidlicky will be the cornerstone of the Nashville defense corps this season. After 53- and 49-point campaigns in 2003 and 2005, he had a down year last season. Zidlicky only managed 30 points in the crowded Nashville blue line. Zidlicky makes a good compliment to the taller and more physical Shea Weber, so the two should make a great defense pairing for the Predators. Zidlicky should rebound this season and push back into the 40-point range in 2007-08.
Zidlicky is growing into a very solid NHL blueliner. He collected 12 goals and 37 assists in only 67 games last season with Nahsville. Last season was only Zidlicky's second-full season in the NHL. If Zidlicky can remain healthy he will be a top-15 point-scoring defenseman in 2006-07 and push the 60-point plateau.
Zidlicky's first year in North America was a fantastic success. Stolen from the Rangers as part of the Mike Dunham deal, he scored 53 points in his NHL debut as Nashville's primary offensive threat off the blue line. The Predators power play should be more potent this year given the development of their youngsters and full seasons from Sullivan and Kariya, so another 50-point season should be no problem for the 28-year-old Zidlicky, and might even be a conservative estimate.