Hey, NHL general managers, beat the rush and make your bid for Marek Zidlicky today.
The highly skilled Minnesota Wild defenseman was a healthy scratch Tuesday night for Minnesota’s come-from-ahead loss to the Nashville Predators.
This was the third game in a row that Wild coach Mike Yeo banished Zidlicky to the press box. So Zidlicky lashed back at his coach, both in person and through the media.
You can see where this is headed.
“I can't be quiet,” Zidlicky told the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “If I would be a healthy scratch, if it helped the team, that's good. I will not cry. I will not tell him he's wrong. But if he doesn't want to play me again, again, I have to do something.”
When informed of Zidlicky’s public complaint, Yeo was not amused.
“One thing for sure, we're going to talk,” Yeo said. “This is not the right way to handle it.”
Zidlicky, who turns 35 this week, came to North America with a well-defined offensive style honed during his successful European pro career. In 541 career NHL games, he has 60 goals and 235 assists.
But he has no goals and just 11 assists in 34 games this season.
“He doesn't like what I'm doing," Zidlicky told the newspaper. “If I'm an offensive player, I'm supposed to play with the top guys. He should show me, 'You are that guy, and you will be out there the last minute when we need to score.' There was a lot of times when I just laid on the bench and just wait for my chance. We had a couple meetings about that after 10, 15 games in the season, and I can't change my style.
“He wants to play easy hockey. I tried everything what he wants, but apparently it doesn't work.”
Yeo said Zidlicky has nobody to blame but himself.
“You think he would be out of the lineup today if he was playing really well?” Yeo said. “His play dictates that, how he handles this dictates that. Greg Zanon decided how he was going to get back in the lineup. He had a great, great attitude . . . Players decide.”
Zidlicky is prepared to waive his no-trade clause to escape the Wild. Minnesota GM Chuck Fletcher ought to be able to fetch at least a draft pick for him, given his proven power-play skills.
Stay tuned for updates.