Many people were not too happy about Marek Zidlicky‘s signing going into the 2013-14 season. Many felt he completely underperformed and was as much of a defensive liability as anyone on the unit.
That all changed with one fantastic season.
Zidlicky put forward his best statistical season since 2009-10 with the Minnesota Wild with 42 points and 30 assists. He played in 81 games, the most since he played in all 82 in the 2003-04 season with the Nashville Predators. He also helped out the Czech Republic in the 2014 Winter Olympics with 2 goals and 2 assists in 5 games.
Marek Zidlicky was the first player to get locked up this summer and with good reason. He was going to be an Unrestricted Free Agent in July and the Devils wanted to make sure he would remain on this team. He is receiving the same money as last season: $3 million base salary with a $1 million signing bonus (AAV of $4 million but cap hit of 3). His contract also includes a no-trade clause, just like the last contract.
Zidlicky finds himself as one of the starting defenders this upcoming season and will look to produce just as much as he did last season. His best month was December when he had 3 goals and 7 assists. That’s not to say the other months were bad. The only month where Marek did not tally a point was the shortened February where the Devils only played 4 games. In October, he had 1 goal and 8 assists and was one of the few bright spots in an otherwise abysmal month.
Zidlicky had another 8 points in March and was never under 4 points outside of the aforementioned February in his monthly statistics.
Marek was one of the few consistent bright spots to an incredibly inconsistent season.
The Devils are going to look for the same kind of production from the 37-year-old. They likely didn’t want to get tied up in anything long-term, but if Marek puts forward the same display this season, he will probably be signed again for at least another year. He can also bring in the veteran leadership to a defensive core that is going to be filled with a lot of youth.
What do you think? Do you think Marek Zidlicky can put forward another consistent season? Comment below!