The New Jersey Devils
gave their blue line a boost on Friday by acquiring veteran defenseman Marek Zidlicky
from the Minnesota Wild
for three players and draft picks after Zidlicky waived his no-trade clause.
The Wild will receive defenseman Kurtis Foster
, forwards Nick Palmieri
and Stephane Veilleux
, as well as a second-round pick in 2012 that the Devils previously acquired from Washington and a conditional third-round pick in the 2013 NHL Draft. The Wild will get that pick if the Devils make the Eastern Conference Finals this spring and Zidlicky plays in 75 percent of New Jersey's games in the first two rounds.
Defense - MIN
GOALS: 0 | ASST: 14 | PTS: 14
SOG: 50 | +/-: -6
Foster and Zidlicky were both scratched from their teams' games on Friday night.
Zidlicky, 35, had been unhappy with the Wild and had said he'd be willing to waive his no-trade clause to facilitate a move after he and coach Mike Yeo
expressed dissatisfaction with each other. Zidlicky had an assist in Thursday's 3-2 shootout win at Florida and has no goals but 14 assists in 41 games this season. He is fourth all-time in scoring among Wild defensemen with 25 goals and 97 assists for 122 points in 241 games.
In his career, Zidlicky has 60 goals and 238 assists, along with 496 penalty minutes, in 548 games. He has one more season remaining on his contract.
The key to the deal for the Wild appears to be Palmieri, a forward who was originally selected by the Devils in the third round of the 2007 NHL Draft. The 22-year-old has yet to play a full season in the NHL but has 13 goals and 12 assists for 25 points in 78 games -- including four goals and three assists in 29 games with the Devils this season.
NHL.COM TRADE DEADLINE 2012
Join NHL.com Monday beginning at 8 a.m. ET for full coverage of the NHL Trade Deadline. Live video streaming, live chat with NHL.com writers and NHL Network analysts, video news updates and more on the latest trades.
The other two players are returning to the Wild. Veilleux was drafted by Minnesota in the third round of the 2001 NHL Draft and played 361 games during six seasons in Minnesota, totaling 43 goals and 47 assists. He still ranks eighth all time in games played in Minnesota. Since leaving the Wild as a free agent after the 2008-09 season, Veilleux played one season in Tampa Bay before splitting last year between SM-liiga in Finland and the Swiss League. He signed with New Jersey last summer and has spent the season with the AHL Devils, scoring 11 goals and adding 11 assists,
Foster spent four seasons with the Wild from 2005-09. He became the first Wild player to score his first two NHL goals in the same game when he made his Wild debut in 2005. He went on to post 10 goals and 18 assists in 58 games that season. After suffering a horrific leg injury in 2008, Foster worked his way back to appear in 10 games at the end of the 2009 season. That offseason he signed with the Tampa Bay Lightning
, and has since played in Edmonton, Anaheim and New Jersey.
Foster started this season in Anaheim, playing nine games with a goal and an assist. He was later traded to New Jersey where he played 28 games and chipped in three goals and nine assists. He is just coming off a back injury
Foster and Veilleux will be unrestricted free agents this summer; Palmieri will be a restricted free agent