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Minnesota Wild sign Brunette, trade for Zidlicky with Predators

The Canadian Press
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The Hockey News
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Minnesota Wild sign Brunette, trade for Zidlicky with Predators

The Canadian Press
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ST. PAUL, Minn. - Marek Zidlicky is on the move.

The Minnesota Wild acquired the 31-year-old defenceman from the Nashville Predators on Tuesday for prospect Ryan Jones and a second-round draft pick.

Zidlicky had spent his entire NHL career with the Predators.

The former Czech Olympian had five goals and 43 points in 79 games with the Preds last season.

Jones was a fifth-round pick in 2004 by Minnesota. He was the leading scorer for Miami University of Ohio last season before signing a pro contract and playing four playoff games with Houston of the American Hockey League.

"Ryan Jones is a big and powerful young forward that adds size and skill to our organization," said Nashville GM David Poile.

The Wild also signed veteran left-winger Andrew Brunette to a multi-year contract, bringing the hard-nosed forward back from the Colorado Avalanche for another tour in Minnesota.

By bringing back Brunette, the Wild add a player who is popular among teammates and fans. He played three seasons in Minnesota from 2001 to '04 and ranks third on the franchise career list in assists, fifth in points and seventh in goals.

He will give the team a durable presence in front of the goaltender and an opportunistic scorer. Wild general manager Doug Risebrough has said on several occasions that he should not have allowed Brunette to leave for Colorado in 2004.

"Andrew is a consistent offensive performer and an excellent teammate who helped create the culture of our team," Risebrough said in a statement. "We are better, on the ice and in the dressing room, with him back.

"Not often do you get the chance to correct a mistake."

Brunette, 34, had 19 goals and 40 assists last season with the Avalanche. He has played in 453 consecutive games, the longest active streak in the NHL.

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Minnesota Wild sign Brunette, trade for Zidlicky with Predators