Zidlicky, 36, entered free agency on July fifth after playing out the final season of a three-year, $12 million deal signed with Minnesota in 2010.
He came to New Jersey at the ’12 trade deadline and paid immediate dividends, scoring nine points in 24 playoff games while averaging nearly 24 minutes a night as the Devils made a surprising run to the Stanley Cup finals.
In 2013, he led all Devils blueliners in points, with 19, while appearing in all 48 games — no small feat for an injury-plagued Devils team (Zidlicky and Andy Greene were the only two defensemen to accomplish it).
New Jersey GM Lou Lamoriello said in May he wanted Zidlicky back for another season, but needed to wait and see how free agency played out before making a deal.
The Devils spent large in free agency — Ryane Clowe for $24.5 million, Michael Ryder for $7 million, Rostislav Olesz for $1 million — and re-signed Patrik Elias to a three-year, $16.5 million deal.
New Jersey still has work to be done, namely new deals for RFAs Jacob Josefson and Adam Henrique — but felt it had enough left over to bring back Zidlicky.
It’s been getting that spotlight since the Columbus Blue Jackets faced off against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a brisk playoff series, though it wouldn’t be surprising if the bad blood stemmed to Dubinsky’s days with New York.
To some, Dubinsky’s cross-check on Crosby will resonate far more than the end result of this game:
The bottom line is that he’ll get the last laugh, at least for now. (In-game, that moment merely drew a minor penalty.)
That’s because Dubinsky set up the overtime game-winner, and the cherry on the top of that spite sundae came with Crosby being on the ice when it happened:
They’re not just rubbing the Penguins the wrong way.
Cheap shot on a superstar, a little uncalled goalie interference and presto – Blue Jackets win!
The Buffalo Sabres probably deserved better during at least some chunks of their six-game skid, yet Jack Eichel swooped in on Friday to remind fans that there’s a light shining at the end of the tunnel.
You can watch his goal from tonight’s eventual 4-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes in the video above.
That’s not necessarily the absolute height of his on-ice magic, yet it clearly gave his team a lift:
Coach Bylsma: Feel like after Jack's goal, the game changed for us. #gamechanger