Marek Zidlicky isn’t making any definitive decisions, but for now it sounds like this season could be his swan song.
“I’m happy I can play one more year and we’ll see after that what happens,” Zidlicky said, per The Record. “I said right away after the season it could be possible I will retire or we will see. You never know. It’s tough for everybody. It doesn’t matter if you are 38 or 28. That’s the business right now.”
Having said all that, the 38-year-old defenseman is looking at the 2015-16 campaign as his “last chance.”
Sure there are cases of players staying competitive into their 40s — Jaromir Jagr being the most obvious recent example — but Zidlicky views the future Hall of Famer and fellow Czech player as different from him.
Zidlicky and Jagr played together with the New Jersey Devils for parts of two seasons, but were both involved in separate trades during the 2014-15 campaign. Zidlicky spent the summer enduring a particularly tough UFA market, but he signed a one-year deal with the New York Islanders on Sept. 18.
At his age, Zidlicky will still probably be leaned on during power-play situations, but he might see his role diminish in other situations.