Devils’ DeBoer likes being a trade deadline buyer

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During his three years in Florida, Peter DeBoer watched the Panthers sell off assets at the trade dealine.

But now, leading a Devils team two points out of second in the East, DeBoer’s finally experiencing what it’s like to be a buyer.

And guess what? He likes it.

“I can tell you it’s nicer going into this time of year in a playoff spot than where I’ve been in previous years,” DeBoer told the Star-Ledger. “Scratching from the outside looking in, trying to sell the hope if we can get on a run this time of year maybe we won’t be dumping salary, we might be adding.

“Those were tough situations to be in the last couple of years (in Florida) prior to getting here.”

During his time in Florida, DeBoer watched management unload the likes of Jordan Leopold, Dennis Seidenberg, Michael Frolik, Bryan McCabe and Cory Stillman at or near the deadline. Now, it appears his Devils are in the mix for Minnesota defenseman Marek Zidlicky — this after acquiring Alexei Ponikarovsky in late January.

DeBoer’s not the only person excited about the prospect of adding Zidlicky. Devils captain Patrik Elias is good friends with his fellow Czech countryman and would love to see him come to New Jersey.

“I’ve liked him ever since I was 14, 15 years old,” Elias said in an unfortunately worded statement. “We played on the national team together. He’s a good player. Offensively, he’s very good. He plays mean when he has to. He can be a little (agitator).

“But all that said, he’s not here yet.”