Filip Zadina Opens Up On Why He Left Money On The Table In Detroit

After half a decade of injury-plagued years, Filip Zadina and the Detroit Red Wings agreed it was time for a new start for the 23-year-old forward. But Zadina wanted out so badly that he simply walked away from the remaining $4.56M remaining on his contract in order to become a free agent. He wound up signing with the San Jose Sharks for just $1.1M. That's a $3.46M loss.

Now, Zadina is talking openly about why and how that all went down. It seems that the combination of a challenging team situation along with the onslaught of injuries was just too much for him to keep going in a Red Wings uniform.

It just didn't go the way that I guess we both wanted. Going as a kid into that rebuild situation didn't help much as well. It just didn't work out. I got hurt almost every single season. Not playing a full season and just being out of the lineup and trying to get back into the lineup after injuries, that's pretty hard, and it kept adding up each season, and last season was the worst one. I just said that I didn't know what's going to be the next season if I stay.

So he made the decision that he just had to move on, even if it did cost him several million dollars. 

Zadina said Sharks head coach David Quinn convinced him that, despite coming to another rebuild, he would be getting a fresh start in San Jose. "I said, 'I would do anything for a chance,'" Zadina recalls, "and he said if I work hard and deserve that spot, I will get the chance I never got. So, I'm really excited about that."

The chance to play with fellow Czechian Tomas Hertl is also a bonus.

The former No. 6 pick in the 2018 NHL Draft, Zadina had just 68 points, on 28 goals and 40 assists, in 190 games with the Red Wings. 

But for his success with the Sharks, he admits it all comes down to not just ability, but availability. "I've just got to stay healthy," Zadina said.

Photo: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports