The good news is that, along with not being eligible for arbitration, both sides are working to complete a deal. The Rangers tendered Del Zotto a qualifying offer over a month ago and hold his rights.
It may just be a case of no news is good news. Both sides want to get a deal done: New York knows what it has in Del Zotto and the young defenseman has enjoyed some success in his brief, three-year tenure on Broadway. Everything seems like it will work out as it should.
Or maybe there's a chance it won't.
News broke earlier today Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Andrej Meszaros tore his Achilles tendon while training in Slovakia and had successful surgery to repair it, leaving a possibility he could be gone for the season. Already mired in an unlucky offseason striking out on bringing Shea Weber, Zach Parise, Ryan Suter and trading James van Riemsdyk to Toronto for Luke Schenn, Flyers GM Paul Holmgren knew prior to losing Meszaros his team needed depth. Now, it's expidited even further.
Perhaps to the point where Holmgren attempts to poach Del Zotto from the Rangers?
We've already seen such an attempt by the Flyers signing Weber to a massive offer sheet, only to see Nashville match it. Holmgren is no stranger to swinging for the fences to improve (or attempt to improve) his team, and if signing Del Zotto to an offer sheet to give Philly some defensive depth is on his agenda now, he'll stop at nothing to get it done. A chance to weaken a division rival by taking away their only legitmate offensive weapon on the backline may be where his mind is at currently.
Del Zotto certainly wouldn't alieviate Philadelphia's woes with keeping the puck out of their net as he won't be confused with Ryan McDonagh on the defensive side of the puck anytime soon, but Del Zotto is just 22 years old, shown he can play in the NHL and can only improve from here on out. Other big-name targets such as John Carlson and P.K. Subban may cost too much (either in money or assets), making Del Zotto a bit more enticing.
It's purely speculation, but don't be naive as to think Holmgren hasn't seen Del Zotto's name still listed as a RFA and thought about bringing his talents to Philadelphia. It's also entirely realistic the Flyers, with just $3.5 million in cap space, stick to cheaper alternatives or in-house options to fill the void.
Does Del Zotto ultimately sign with New York? Signs point strongly to yes so Ranger fans shouldn't worry too much. However, today's news makes the situation a bit more interesting to watch.
Yea if they do that then they better watch out when Giroux is an RFA. I'm sure the Preds are already thinking of sticking it to the Flyers after trying to rip Weber away from them.
Is there a limit to how big an offer they can make? I assume the offer cant be so high as to put the flyers way over the cap?
If Del Zotto had any other agent but Bobby Orr then this would have a chance of happening.Orr understand the situation facing the NYR and NHL with the ongoing labor issues and is waiting to see what will happen. If they can get things straightened out then I can see Orr asking for a 3 year cap friendly deal.If they don't then Orr will keep all doors open especially if the NHL gets what they want in new CBA. If you were Del Zotto you too would be scared that you would have zero leverage in the NHL until after your 10th NHL season.
Honestly, I'm not too concerned for two reasons: First, unless it's completely ridiculous, I don't think Del Zotto will sign it. He likes NY and I'm positive like guys Richards, and Rupp have already called him and told him not to even think about doing it. Second, doubt Holmgren does that in division knowing Giroux is up in the next year or two. Sather will be more than happy to "return the favor" and as strange as some of his moves have been, don't think Holmgren is stupid enough not to realize that.
@angelzeyes2521 Let's be honest, no one is sticking around because they get a call from Mike Rupp. As far as "liking NY", I'm not sure that alone is enough to keep him from signing. There's places like Edmonton, Ottwawa, Buffalo, and Long Island where players really have to think hard to decide if the money is green enough, but I don't see Philly being that place.
Something else to keep in mind is that MDZ hasn't had the easiest stretch here. Torts has been up his ass (justified or not) all the time. If he and his agent see a better opportunity in Philly, and their system, for MDZ to step up and shine without the BS, why wouldn't he take it.
In my opinion, the only thing an offer sheet from the Flyers would do is force the Rangers to pay more for him than they want to. But with 3.5 mil in cap space how bad could it really be?
@KurtBalogh Flyers cap isn't nearly that tight. $3.5 mil is cap space before subtracting Pronger's $4.9 mil that will come off as LTIR. If, as the article suggested , Meszaros is out for the season that's another $4 mil in cap relief this season.
@BuckarooClub Good point, I didn't even think about Pronger. They should be looking to make some kind of move somewhere then. Hopefully they don't drive up DZs price. Does Meszaros' count for LTIR?
@KurtBalogh Yeah, it's pretty much just wait and see time. We've got enough pieces, if they're played right, that it shouldn't be as big a concern what other people do. The biggest concern is seeing something in the gameplan to get the offense and PP back on track.
@BuckarooClub So it soud like they can count on Prongers money but not Meszaros. I don't know much about the injury either but they don't sound like they're sure he'll be out the entire season. Either way that does give them enough scratch to throw an offer at DZ. they must know it's futile and would only be to ruffle the Rangers feathers. Hopefully they decide they don't have time to play games and look elsewhere.
@KurtBalogh @BuckarooClub Meszaros will, and if they know he's out for the season, they can spend his hit freely. That's the whole reason Pronger hasn't officially retired - as long as he's LTIR, they can over spend the cap by his hit.
Meszaros is a bit trickier, because if there's a chance he gets cleared before the end of the season, and what's left of his hit pops back up. I honestly don't know a ton about his injury. As I said above, I'm just running with the idea presented by James that Meszaros being lost for the season would be the motivation to chase MDZ.
@angelzeyes2521 @KurtBalogh I posted something about the LTIR last season: http://www.nyrangersblog.com/2011-articles/november/rangers-sign-stralman.html
@KurtBalogh I don't feel like looking up the CBA (not that I would understand it anyway) but if I remember correctly from when our guys were hurt, we were able to exceed the cap the amount of their cap hit when on LTIR so essentially it only mattered if we were at the cap ceiling which, depending on what they do, Philly may be. Does that make sense? Honestly I just remember Brooks constantly repeating that LTIR didn't matter with Staal and Sauer cause we weren't at the cap ceiling.
@KurtBalogh just found this post specific to Philly's situation...now I have a headache.
@KurtBalogh Good point. Maybe Philly isn't good with math? In all seriousness, the Flyers are up against the cap and don't have the resources to stick it to the Rangers.
@Ranger Dave @BuckarooClub @Beckfan5 @KevinDeLury @AG_Blue @TheWrage @KurtBalogh You can't deny the role Mike Richards and Jeff Carter played in getting LA their cup, but I don't think you can say they would have have same result with the Flyers, had they not been dealt.
Alot of credit to Holmgren and Lombardi for both doing an excellent job of not only bringing up players in the organization, but also assessing them, and making the best moves for their teams. Carter and Richards weren't enough, they brought back a good group of young players and freed some cash to fill other holes. LA realized their "young core" wasn't enough, and made some trades for more experienced players, who put them over the top, and they got the cup that everyone is playing for.
Sometimes, it's not just about how good or bad each player is, but also how they fit into what you're doing. LA found the right mix last season. Philly isn't all there, but is a player or two away from getting there, as evidenced by the panic that swept of the thought of them landing Shea Weber.
The thing that I like about what Holmgren is doing is he seems to playing to win a cup, not just win. Too often, i think the Rangers are keeping too small market of a mindset, like if they let one prospect out of their sight, they are going to plummet into another rebuilding phase. Is it good that we're developing our own players... yes. Do we need to develop our own players because the only way we can meet an artificial cap is to have pack of guys on ELC's... not at all.
I'd rather see Slats trying to keep the balls in the air, and mix some cup runs (and cups) with some flops, then just try to put a "good team" on the ice and go out like the Buffalo Bills.
@BuckarooClub @Beckfan5 @KevinDeLury @AG_Blue @TheWrage @KurtBalogh I agree that holmgren got a young and fair return on his end for trading Richards and Carter, but they both have their names on a cup and philly got bounced early and now the flyers have some work to do to get back into the mix. I also agree that bryz is capable of playing better and his cap hit is not so bad for an upper tier netminder. That being said, this was a team that everyone went from fearing two seasons ago, to seriously questioning. I feel that holmgren has a good youth movement going on and that with timmonens contract up next year they are currently in rebuilding mode. I think they have a sold top three and an okay second and third line. They have some speed in the bottom six but are hurting for two second pair defensemen. Shut down the top line of this team and you are probably gonna beat them. I can see them making the playoffs with some free agent d aquisitions but a seventh or eigth seed.
@Beckfan5 @BuckarooClub @KevinDeLury @AG_Blue @TheWrage @KurtBalogh Oh, I'll agree that I thought all along that the $6.6 mil Kovi was getting was HUGE deal, and would have loved for the Rangers to get a player like that for so cheap. At the same time I think sometimes people get caught up in Bryz's "salary" vs his "cap hit". Bryz made 10 mil last season, but was only on the cap for $5.6. Kovi and even BR were both making like $10 mil last season.
The $5.6 Bryz got against the cap wasn't horrible. He'd had been shaping up to be a pretty solid goaltender in Phoenix, and while the Flyers paid more then anyone would like to, they needed a goalie, he was the best available, and the price got driven up because other teams were ready to pay close to that much. As I said above, I'd still be concerned that what we saw last season was more of a bump, then the new Bryz, and wouldn't suprised to see him settle down and bounce back.
@Ranger Dave @KevinDeLury @AG_Blue @TheWrage @KurtBalogh When they "traded away their two best players" they brought back Sean Couturier, Jacob Voracek, Brayden Schenn, Wayne Simmonds and a pick that became Nicklas Grossman plus a 3rd rd prospect. At the same time, the deal had as much to do with letting Giroux and JvR step up and spread their wings. JvR had some injury issues, and was later flipped to help the blueline himself, but Giroux certainly proved he was ready to step up and fill the void.
Why the hell am I defending the Flyers today???
@BuckarooClub @KevinDeLury @AG_Blue @TheWrage @KurtBalogh But the difference in player and contract is that Kovelchuck was an established sniper and one of the best goal scores in the league while, in my opinion, Bryzgalov isn't one of the top 10 goaltenders in the league.
@KevinDeLury @AG_Blue @TheWrage @KurtBalogh Two years ago there was plenty of criticism of the Devs for giving Kovi the deal they gave him, especially after he stumbled out the gate to a 60 point season. This season, he throws up 83 points in 77 games, and 6 points in the 6 playoff games he played against, on his way to the finals.
Bryz settling into his new team, in a new conference, and popping back to the form we saw in Phoenix certainly isn't a stretch.Pelle Lindburgh has to get sick of sticking it to these guys sometime.
@KevinDeLury @AG_Blue @TheWrage @KurtBalogh I agree. They traded away their two best players to make than happen and now they are self destructing...
@AG_Blue @TheWrage Absolutely terrible off season for the Flyers. I almost feel bad for them...almost