The New Jersey Devils have brought back their leading defenseman scorer from last season, signing Marek Zidlicky to a one-year deal.
Update: It’s for $3 million with games played incentives, according to TSN’s Aaron Ward.
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.