Del Zotto Could Benefit From Playing With Redden

To say that Michael Del Zotto had a rough sophomore year would be like saying Paris Hilton is only a little bit of a…err…a little bit promiscuous.  Del Zotto struggled so mightily that he was demoted to the AHL, where he promptly broke a finger.  Needless to say, he did not have an enjoyable year, and it led to vicious fans saying he was a bust, over rated, and that the Rangers should trade him.  But have no fear, Wade Redden is here!

I mean that seriously folks.  Redden has worked wonders with many of the Rangers defensive prospects, including Tomas Kundratek and Jyri Niemi.  However, his masterpiece was his work with a certain prospect that has become a staple on the Rangers blue line. Rick Carpiniello nicknames him McMonster.  His name is Ryan McDonagh…perhaps you’ve heard of him?

McDonagh struggled out of the gate in the AHL, as adjusting to the speed of the professional game seemed to be a bit much for the youngster. Insert Redden, who took the kid under his wing and the rest, as they say, is history.

Why not try to see if Redden can work his magic on Del Zotto? Both play a similar style of game, and Del Zotto’s issues seem to be a bit easier to deal with that McDonagh’s.  After all, Del Zotto appears to have adjusted to the speed, he just can’t seem to pass the puck anymore.  Redden, at one point in his career, was a premier NHL defenseman (insert “best first pass in the game” joke here).  But seriously, if you didn’t want him on your team in the early 2000’s, you were crazy.

Del Zotto’s biggest issue is that he is forcing that home run pass, instead of making that simple pass up the ice to start the rush.  That was a pass that Redden mastered before his game went the way of the dodo.  This post is not designed to make Redden into a super hero, but it is designed to say that maybe, just maybe, Del Zotto could benefit from an extended stay with the CT Whale and with Redden as his defensive partner.

The talent is clearly there in Del Zotto, and the kid is barely even 21 years old. There is plenty of time for him to get his head back in the game and turn into a productive defender. Even if he just turns his offense around to the point where he can contribute, it’s a win. There are so many defensive minded guys on the blue line, that having one that can actually put the puck in the net would be beneficial to the Rangers, not detrimental.

Redden has worked wonders with the prospects, and he has played a significant role in the development of these prospects into legitimate players and defensive depth. Maybe it’s time to work with the one defenseman whose game most closely resembles his in his prime?

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  1. If this ends up being the case, do you consider his “rededication” this summer a failure? Or just one step in his overall development?

  2. Del Zotto also needs to work on his gap control and better timing his pinches. These are things coaching and patience can fix. Hopefully he receives such…

    1. Redden can help with that too. I really think that the org should just bite the bullet and let MDZ play with Redden for a few months.

  3. He’s 21. Was rushed into NHL action. Now we have to fix the mistake we made.

    If redden can turn mdz around, I would cite success to sather for signing redden. While not a success with his NHL time with the club, his success withthe young guys can not be understated. Providing the team with better prospects. He is still a class act. A 6 m class act but one nonetheless

    1. Boy Mikeyyy you’ve come a long way since I first came aboard and started reading your comments. “Our boy’s all growns up”

  4. But, I thought Redden wasn’t being invited to camp and there’s been talk of him not showing up in the AHL to void his contract so he can try to sign on with an NHL club that needs defensive help?

      1. Yeah, theres been numerous reports that he is just reporting straight to the NHL and that he genuinely seemed to enjoy his time there.

        Hell, I’d love to be an NHL vet just hanging out in the AHL making $6m.

  5. I hate that we are even talking about a player after one preseason game. But with all of the other players who are ready or near being eady.

    Giving him some more time wouldnt be a bad thing. And it would open the door for Valentenko. Who has to play in NY or Hartford. all year.

    1. Well, the issue is that he’s making the same mistakes he made last year. Redden should help him in that regard.

  6. I’m really pulling for MDZ tonight. Just make the easy play and pinch in when it’s safe. If he could just do those two things he’ll be fine.

      1. I agreed Dave. What worked in the CHL and year 1 in the NHL has been taken away by other teams. He may not have anything else. He not a rushing/puck carrying D-men who shots or passes off great end to end rushes. He’s not this great skater either. He needs to keep it simple with his passes and then things may open up again.

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