This is Russo. Got a text at 1:10 p.m.
Deal Done for Zidlicky, three-year, $12 million deal, no-trade clause for essentially first half of contract; Clayton Stoner signs two-year, $1.1 million deal. One-way contract first year of deal, two-way contract second year of deal, with $105,000 salary in minors second year.
By Chip Scoggins
The Wild held a one-hour practice at St. Thomas Arena today before departing for Calgary for Wednesday's game. As the players hustled out of the locker room, defenseman Marek Zidlicky confirmed Russo's earlier report that a contract extension is nearly complete.
"I'll let you know after a couple of hours," he said. "We are very close right now."
Russo reported that the three-year extension will be worth $12 million. Russo reported Monday that the Wild would likely trade Zidlicky if they couldn't reach an agreement by Wednesday's trade deadline, according to several sources. Now it looks like his deal will be completed later today.
Then the focus will turn to Owen Nolan and Eric Belanger, two potential UFAs who could be traded. Russo wrote in this earlier blog post that GM Chuck Fletcher might move Nolan if he desired to go to a contending team. Nolan said today that he had a conversation with Fletcher but declined to discuss specifics.
"Those conversations are between me and him," Nolan said. "Whatever happens, happens. It's part of the game. Most of us have been traded at some point or another. Right now this is my team and this is the team I play for."
Belanger also faces a level of uncertainty the next 24 hours. He said he's prepared for any scenario.
"I don't have any control in their decisions," he said. "It's between them and my agent. Chuck knows what their intentions are. We'll see what happens."
Belanger said the uncertainty around the trade deadline becomes easier as players get older, but that it's more difficult for their families.
"I've been traded before," he said. "It's tough when you have kids. I have two young kids. My oldest goes to school. It makes it harder on your wife. You just pack your bags and you leave and you go play hockey. For them, they stay behind and they have to take care of everything. That's the part that's tough on the player. But there's a month left and hopefully I'm here after tomorrow."
Kobasew ready to return
Winger Chuck Kobasew said he's ready to play Wednesday for the first time since suffering a sprained ACL and MCL in his left knee Dec. 26.
"It feels good," he said. "The last couple of days have been good."