The Rangers and Michael Del Zotto’s agent are reportedly having negotiations over the defenseman’s upcoming contract. Apparently, Del Zotto is seeking a multi-year deal worth somewhere between $3-$4 million.
To me that’s absurd on the face of it. This is Del Zotto’s first contract as a RFA and he’s out of his mind if he thinks he’ll get that much. Marc Staal is the only one in the history of Glen Sather defenseman on the Rangers to hit a homerun in his first contract as a RFA. Del Zotto will eventually be worth that much, but at the moment he hasn’t earned that money nor has he shown enough consistency over his career to earn it. Not to mention with Carl Hagelin, Ryan Mcdonagh, and Chris Kreider due new contracts in the near future, the Rangers cannot blow that much money on Del Zotto with the cap coming down.
If I were Glen Sather I’d try to do one of two things. I’d try to get Del Zotto to play ball first off. Sather initially said Del Zotto will “Come to his senses” regarding a new contract. If he doesn’t come to his senses by the time the season rolls around I think the Rangers would have to seriously consider trading Del Zotto. Sather put up with Brandon Dubinsky’s contract demands a few times, but I think if Del Zotto is seriously holding out for that much in a year the Rangers will likely need him to compete for a cup, then I suggest trading him.
In a trade last summer, Luke Schenn garnered the Maple Leafs James Van Riemsdyk. That’s around the ballpark I think the Rangers are in. Maybe they could get a bit more than that, but I’d be happy with a player of JvR’s caliber in return for Del Zotto. I think trading him should be a last resort, but I think it should definitely be on the table.
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