NHL notes: Wild GM denies plans to deal Zidlicky
|Wild defenceman Marek Zidlicky (left) has reportedly not been happy with his playing time and requested a trade. (REUTERS/Eric Miller/Files)
Minnesota Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher denied Wednesday that he has asked defenceman Marek Zidlicky to waive his no-trade clause.
Reports indicated that Zidlicky, 35, has waived his no-trade and is on his way to the New Jersey Devils. Not so, Fletcher said.
"I haven't asked Zid to waive his no-trade for any specific trade," Fletcher told the Minneapolis Star Tribune. "I haven't called him and said anything's close. I can tell you for sure I'm planning on talking to other teams. We haven't traded Zid, we haven't made the decision to trade Zid at this point. I have not formally asked him to do anything because at this point I honestly don't have anything to take to him, I don't have anything for him to say yes or no to."
Zidlicky, a healthy scratch for four straight games starting Jan. 21, is battling with coach Mike Yeo over ice time. The Star Tribune reported that Zidlicky asked for a trade after sitting out his third game and said he'd waive his no-trade clause.
SKINNER GETS SCRAPPY
Teenager Jeff Skinner may not be considered a tough guy, but the Carolina Hurricanes centre isn't afraid to drop the gloves ... to fight a teammate.
Skinner and forward Pat Dwyer scrapped after a particularly intense one-on-one battle drill Wednesday, NewsObserver.com reported.
Skinner, 19, and Dwyer, 28, fought for the puck during a "battle drill" in front of the net, trading pushes and shoves, when they suddenly dropped the gloves.
Teammates separated the two, and later the combatants apologized to each other.
"It's not because I don't like him," Skinner said. "Everything's all right. It's just a tough drill there at the end. It's not something you want to do every practice but it happens every once in a while. You don't look for it but sometimes it happens.
"I maybe could have reacted a little differently but he's a competitive guy."
Dwyer said it shows no one on the team is merely going through the motions and collecting his paycheque.
HOWARD HEALED UP
Detroit Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard will start Sunday against the San Jose Sharks.
Whether he'll also start two days earlier against the Nashville Predators remains to be seen, though.
"Howie is starting against San Jose," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "We'll see what happens there. I don't know if that means he's starting against Nashville or not, but he's starting sooner or later. You can only get so much holiday time during the regular season. It's time for him to go."
Howard has been out with a broken finger on his right hand since Feb. 2. He's been facing shots in pactice for nearly a week and said Wednesday that playing Friday is a "realistic goal."
The Florida Panthers signed defenceman Tyson Strachan, 27, to a one-year contract extension. Strachan has one goal and two assists in eight games with the Panthers ... ESPN is reporting that the Carolina Hurricanes will not trade Tuomo Ruutu. The Hurricanes are working on signing Ruutu, who is out 3-4 weeks with an upper body injury, to a contract extension ... The Minnesota Wild has used a league-high 39 players this season, one off the franchise record set last year. The Wild topped the league standings as of Dec. 15 but have dropped to 12th in the Western Conference over the last two months ... Washington Capitals defenceman Mike Green practiced for more than an hour with the team Wednesday. It's the first time he's done that since having sports hernia surgery. He could join the Caps for their four-game road trip.