Del Zotto’s next move is critical to his Rangers career

January 12, 2013, by
Big decision looming for MDZ

Big decision looming for MDZ

Michael Del Zotto needs to be very conscious of how the next few days play out. How the young blueliner deals with the contract situation and the start of the upcoming abbreviated season is – to an extent – a crossroad in his young Rangers career.

The Rangers fan base can be an unforgiving one. When the crowd turns on you, the Garden can be a tough place to play (see: Malik, Marek; Rozsival, Michal). Negativity surrounding a player can certainly affect their performance, as these former Rangers would attest to. Del Zotto is in danger of coming across as greedy or unrealistic in the eyes of many, especially when the focus should be on getting up to speed as quickly as possible.

There’s also the relationship between player and organisation. Glen Sather has been quite vocal regarding the contract stalemate, and a strained relationship with the paymaster is far from ideal. Del Zotto will not be able to afford another up and down year like his second season, especially if he wants to make sure a) that he gets a better pay day next time around, and b) he doesn’t become replaceable.

Right now Del Zotto is a critical component of the Rangers. He’s a fine offensive defenseman that still hasn’t hit his ceiling on a team that may struggle for defensive depth and powerplay point men. However with little time to get up to speed already (thanks to the necessity of a short minicamp), should Del Zotto miss much time, then he’s in danger of falling behind the pack. Can he afford to?

Del Zotto’s Ranger career has been quite inconsistent. He’s shown periods of play that make you believe the Rangers have a gem on their hands, and then he’s had patches where he’s a liability. Which one is the real Del Zotto? He needs to have a good season to cement his future with the organisation and cannot allow this contract situation to linger. Hopefully we’ll learn more about Del Zotto’s Rangers future over the weekend.

Categories : Defense


  1. Dave says:

    Remember, both Staal and Dubi held out in their second year deals.

  2. Marc Weissman says:

    The point is, regardless of whether one thinks DZ has been bad, good or indifferent so far, he is certainly NOT of the caliber to hold out like this at such an early stage in his budding career. Very few players are, in fact. Period! And in some ways, he has ALREADY affected his time in NYC by doing this. Plus, as many have indicated on various sites, this reeks of Dubi’s early-career holdout, and we saw how well that worked out.

    Fact is, Sather is way too experienced and savvy a GM to get f’d with by such a green player. My advice to DZ is to do his best to keep in mind how extremely fortunate he is to be a) on a Cup contending team so soon, b) playing in NYC, c) to have a Vezina-winning goalie behind him to cover up his mistakes and inflate his +/- and d) just sign the damn thing and focus on what is already a shortened-season with a freshly-signed CBA.

    And FWIW, no matter what happens, just like all those “We Don’t Want You!” fans that stupidly chanted at Nash last year will come around once he starts burying them, the same will hold true for DZ if he executes. History has shown time and again that if you perform, MSG forgives. 🙂

  3. ranger17 says:

    2.5 2.75– 2 yrs this is not chump change for a 22 yr old , for something we all wish we had the ability to due

  4. Walt says:

    This kid has a high self asteem, and he thinks he walks on water.

    Bottom line, let him sit out the season, then next year, he still is Ranger property, sign him to a lower contract. F him, he isn’t all that great to begin with.

  5. Jerry says:

    I’ve read the deal is 2.4 a year.its a good jump .sign it and play.its a fair deal.

  6. Matt Josephs says:

    The sooner this situation is settled, the sooner the Rangers can get back to business. I want to re-sign Del Zotto and that should be the priority, but if he doesn’t want to play ball Sather should deal him somewhere that will pay him.

    I think Del Zotto is slightly better than Luke Schenn and Schenn netted the Leafs JvR. A player of that caliber would be welcomed.

  7. Spozo says:

    What’s with all this negativity towards MDZ? All we know is that he asked for X amout of dollars and Sather offered Y amount. Then this little thing called a lockout happened which forbade the two sides from negotiating. Right now at 7:55pm that lockout is still ongoing. Both sides have voted to end it but nothing is signed yet so there still can’t be any negotiations. He’s an RFA who got screwed by the timing of this huge debacle and that doesn’t make him a selfish a greedy person who doesn’t want to be a Ranger. Lighten up on the guy he certainly isn’t the first player in NHL history to not have a new contract this close to the start of the season and e has every right to do what he is doing.