Hey guys, Ducks fan here. If I'm not mistaken, Marek Zidlicky will become a UFA at season's end. Is that correct? If so, has Preds management said anything about re-signing him? Thanks in advance.
Unless the NHL.com CBA FAQ's is wrong, here is the stipulation to become an unrestricted free agent: in 2006-07, a player age 29 with four accrued seasons or with eight accrued seasons.*
It can be difficult to understand, but legally it reads that a player who has reached the age of 29 (by a set date) must have four accrued seasons to be unrestricted. A player who has 8 accrued seasons, regardless of any other factors, would be unrestricted.
Zidlicky falls into the first category. Because he has reached the age of 29 by the set date, all he has to do to become unrestricted is to meet the four accrued seasons requirement. Unfortunately for Zids and fortunately for the Preds, he cannot meet that requirement in time. Currently, he is the midst of his 3rd accrued season (rookie year of '03/'04, lockout year, and now this season). Because he doesn't have 4 accrued seasons, he is restricted.
Now, I have seen tsn.ca say that he was a UFA, but if that is the case, the NHL FAQ's is wrong. And while I like TSN, you'd like to think that the NHL would get it's own matters correct.
To further support the restricted stance, David Poile has, to my knowledge, never mentioned Zidlicky in the same sentence as UFA. And he never talks about him in the same conversations that include our other UFAs. That would lead me to believe he's not because while Poile has never directly addressed the matter, the fact that he hasn't even bothered linking the two is telling.