By Kristin Tullo (@KToools)
As the clock ticks on the current CBA, which is set to expire on Saturday, New York Rangers defenseman Michael Del Zotto remains unsigned. The restricted free agent finished out his entry-level contract with the Blueshirts after they drafted him in 2008, but seems to have come to a stalemate with the organization after sitting on an offer given by general manager, Glen Sather.
“He will come to his sense”, Sather told Andrew Gross of The Record, in reference to what Sather called a “fair contract” which was given to 22-year old Del Zotto. The offer, whether too low in salary or length for Del Zotto, has been made, yet when he spoke to Andrew Gross, he believed the negotiation is “out of his hands.”
GM’s are expected to cut costs under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement which means player salaries may be less than they have been over the past several years. If this were to happen, if may be best for Del Zotto to sign sooner rather than later, as he could see his offer lose value, following September 15th’s deadline.
Playing on the blue line with a group of defenders that have recently been riddled with injuries, Del Zotto managed to stay relatively healthy in the 2011-2012 season, where he put up his best offensive numbers, tallying ten goals and 31 assists while averaging over 20 minutes of ice time nearly every night. There is no doubt that Del Zotto’s offensive ability would leave a gap in the Rangers lineup if he were to go elsewhere, but Henrik Lundqvist would probably not miss bailing out the young player from his defensive lapses that sometimes make him a liability on the back-end.
The New York Rangers continue to add to their lineup of all-star players by adding Rick Nash to their roster, in hopes that alongside Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik, they can make it beyond the Eastern Conference Finals, where they lost in six games to the New Jersey Devils last season, and into the Stanley Cup Final. Keeping Del Zotto as one of their core defenseman would certainly help the Rangers advance, however it seems as though just like in the battle between the NHL and the NHLPA, the player is going to have to give in because the Rangers don’t appear interested in budging.
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[...] alarmed with the length of time it’s taken to sign P.K. as RFAs Tyler Ennis, Evander Kane, and Michael Del Zotto are also searching for contracts. With the current CBA to expire in a few days, and the rate of [...]