Micheal Del Zotto, Delzaster, MDZ, Z, and a dozen other names that the New York Rangers media and fan base have tacked on to him span from praising to down right mean and it’s hard to argue that the young defenseman hasn’t earned all of them in the past few seasons. Between his twitter antic (really? You’re bored in the off season? How about practicing your puck handling? Endurance? Figuring out ways to make yourself essential to the team?)
Del Zotto has his upsides, don’t get me wrong. His defensive skills have really helped the Rangers during the season, after he spent that year in Connecticut that is, and if you’re someone who only focuses on +/- Del Zotto will blow you out of the water with that stat. The downside of that is, if you have a strong team (like the Rangers do), a player could sit at center ice and do nothing and still come away with an awesome +/- stat. Which is what happened towards the end of the season and the post season with Del Zotto. He didn’t disappear, but certainly the lights of the playoffs overwhelmed him and he wasn’t the same player as he was back in January.
It might work on other strong teams, having the other players carry you during a slack, but not with the New York Rangers. They are so deep with defensemen, Del Zotto could be benched and filled quickly by equally talented defensemen. He’s 22 years old, youth is a huge upside for him, but he is easily replaceable, even with Tim Erixon in Columbus. The Rangers have no lack of depth in the defensive pairings.
Del Zotto has a lot of growing up to do still. Two and a half seasons with Torts, you’d think he’d be a more responsible player but he still has room to improve. Hopefully with some more veterans in the locker room, Del Zotto will make some changes with his maturity level.
Lets Go Rangers!