Even after dealing Michael Grabner to kick off training camp, New York Islanders GM Garth Snow isn’t done tinkering with his roster.
Friday evening, the Islanders agreed to terms on a one-year with Marek Zidlicky in a move that will further bolster an up-and-coming defense. According to Newsday's Arthur Staple, the contract is worth $1.5-million. Zidlicky, 38, spent the 2014-15 campaign between the New Jersey Devils and Detroit Red Wings, and, even at his age, still has the offensive ability to be an impact player for the Islanders this campaign.
In New York, Zidlicky is likely to find a spot on the second- or third-pairing while getting a lot of power play minutes. In 84 games this past season — the trade to Detroit resulted in him playing two extra contests in 2014-15 — Zidlicky notched seven goals and 34 points, but six goals and 20 of his points were scored with the extra man. On a team that already has Johnny Boychuk as a power play quarterback on the top unit, landing Zidlicky means both the first and second power play units will be absolutely lethal.
The one thing about Zidlicky’s game is that, especially at his age, the Islanders would do well to shelter his starts. Over the past three seasons, he has taken a large number of offensive zone starts and even still has had a sub-50 percent goals-for percentage at 5-on-5 over the past three seasons. That said, his production at even-strength from 2012 to 2015 puts him in league with Niklas Kronwall, Jay Bouwmeester and Karl Alzner.
At the tail end of last season, Zidlicky was averaging roughly 18 minutes per game, which is about what he should be skating with New York in 2015-16. As a veteran, Zidlicky can also help shepherd along some of the younger blueliners on the Islanders, including Calvin de Haan, Travis Hamonic and Thomas Hickey.
With Zidlicky under contract, the Islanders now have just under $6-million in remaining cap space.