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Minnesota Wild Season Grades: Marek Zidlicky

Welcome back, Wilderness. I trust you all have the proper sleep and your food comas are yesterday's news. Should you need more rest, please do so only after you read this post. Then tell your boss I said it was OK to take a little nap at your desk.

What to say about Marek Zidlick? One of the savvy vets at this point in his career, Zidlicky has a large contract, a no movement clause, and the burdens that come with it. He has the respect of his team, and of the fans. With an injury stealing a large portion of his season, Zidlicky could be a pariah, or he could be given a pass. Either would really be acceptable, and either could be completely off base.

Judging a guy who should be a leader and putting up big points from the blue line when there are so many forces playing into the equation. This wasn't an east grade to finish.

Make the jump for the final grade for Marek Zidlicky.

Marek Zidlicky

#3 / Defenseman / Minnesota Wild



Feb 03, 1977

2010 - Marek Zidlicky 46 7 17 24 -6 30 3 0 0 53


JS- GRADE: B- It would've been pretty damn nice to have this guy for more than 46 games, because our powerplay dropped quite severly without him. People may malign him all they want, but he's a damn good offensive d-man. He needs work defensively, sure, but his production on the back-end is hard to replace and every team is looking for that productive offensive blueliner. His contract may be a bit much, considering he's become quite injury-prone, but a healthy Zidlicky means a pretty good Minnesota Wild a lot of the time. A full season would have put him close to Brent Burns in points and likely would've given us a lot more goals overall. I've always liked Zidlicky, really, but he is prone to letdowns, especially immediately following a goal. Here's to hoping for a healthier Zids next season.

Elise- GRADE: B Missed a lot of games due to injury, but played well when he was healthy and put up some decent points.

Dan- GRADE: B Logs the most PP time/game out of anyone on the team, is the key defender on the powerplay and logs tons of minutes. It shows, because when Zidlicky when down from 1/2/11 to 2/18/11, the team scored only 8 PP goals in 54 Power Plays (14.8%). 

Bryan- GRADE: C Zidlicky was unimpressive this season. He did have the shoulder injury, which I am still convinced is worse than we were led to believe. He likely should have had surgery and allowed it to heal completely. That said, 24 points in 46 games is not terrible for a d-man. His defensive play was also better than we have seen, but still lacking. He gets a passing grade, but his game needs to improve if this team is going to succeed. He needs to be an A player.

Nathan- GRADE: C- 7 goals, 17 assists. 46 games. That is an underachieving season. I blame the change in the pronunciation of his name. What changed from last year (aside from injuries)? It would've been nice to see Zidlicky take more shots, especially on the power play where he excelled last season. Zidlicky was to be a rare breed for the WIld, a puck-mover who could lead the breakout, provide some help in the scoring and command the power play. His pace of 45-50 points is about average for his career, but with his contract, he really needs to step up a level, or he'll find himself on the outside looking in.

Cumulative GPA: 2.48 C+

Final Thought

The question last year was "Good Zidlicky or Bad Zidlicky?" This year, the question was much more basic. Zidlicky, or no Zidlicky? He is one of few puck-moving defensemen in the organization, and is vital to the success of the team. Games he was in, the team seemed confident coming out of their zone and able to control the puckl headed up ice.

The main problem was the injury, as it never really allowed him to get much traction. Even when he returned, he looked off a bit, as though he were still thinking about it. With the amount of details a puck moving defensemen needs to focus on, thinking about a sore shoulder can't be one of them.

Blame the injury, blame the contract, blame the change to pronouncing his name correctly. Blame whatever you want, but this was not a good season for Marek Zidlicky.