The Detroit Red Wings had designs on Toronto Maple Leafs star defenseman Dion Phaneuf at the NHL trade deadline, but only if the Leafs were to assume at least $2 million annually for the next six years on his $49-million contract.
Thankfully for the Red Wings, because they seriously don’t need $5 million of Dion Phaneuf on their cap for six years, the teams couldn’t make the numbers work.
So the Red Wings turned to the New Jersey Devils and traded a conditional 2016 third-round pick for defenseman Marek Zidlicky, who had to waive his no-move for the trade. The Devils retain $1 million of his salary.
Zidlicky is a pending UFA with a $4 million cap hit. He’s a right-handed shot, which coach Mike Babcock coveted. He’s a veteran puck-mover who could find himself on the second pairing, supplanting either Kyle Quincey or Brendan Smith. His best asset might be as a power-play quarterback; his worst asset would be that he can make head-on-desk turnovers at times.
The third rounder becomes a second rounder for the Devils if Detroit makes the Stanley Cup Final.
So, checking the Milbury Scale:
TWO MILBURYS. It could have been a clear win for the Devils had this been a second rounder that became a first, but this was a nice fallback for the Red Wings after Phaneuf fell through. We Zid-like it. OK that was terrible.
Our Puck Daddy mini-pod on the Marek Zidlicky trade!
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