According to Larry Brooks at the New York Post, Michael Del Zotto, who played just just four shifts worth 2:59 in the third period of Thursday’s 4-2 victory in Columbus, could be in jeopardy of being benched or possibly traded due to his "unstable" and "erractic" play on the ice.
Brooks adds that while the Oilers, Flyers, Sabres and Panthers are all looking to make a deal, there likely isn't a good match in regard to Del Zotto.
To further his argument for a Del Zotto benching, Brooks notes that the blueliner has just four power play goals in his last 255 games, including just one the last three years.
Del Zotto is an arbitration eligible RFA at the end of the season.
...i think I speak for everyone in Rangers Nation when I say...
...i've always felt Del Zotto had the physical tools to be the Rangers power play quarterback for the next decade, but his game has regressed almost every season, especially on defense. Maybe if he was lighting it up on offense, the Rangers coaching staff and fans could forgive his defensive shortcomings, but as I posted above, that's just not the case.
...i was really hoping the issue with Del Zotto was Torts. That the former coach's conservative game plan was holding the young defenseman's offensive potential back. Unfortunately, as everyone else seems to be flourishing (except Pyatt) under AV's more open offense, Del Zotto is more lost than ever. Sure, he scored the other night, but that had more to do with him being in the right place at the right time than making an actual play.
...in the past I've said the problem with Del Zotto is between the ears, so maybe a change of scenery is exactly what him and the Rangers need.
...Brooks didn't mention it, but to me an interesting replacement would be McIlrath, who continues to progress in the AHL and could bring some much needed snarl and toughness currently missing from the Rangers lineup.
With all of the Power Play minutes he has gotten his entire career and he only has 4 and just 1 in the past year? This was the kid that was supposed to be great on offense but he doesn't play effectively and has been royally screwing up on defense for the longest time. Seriously, does nobody see the stupid decisions he makes whether it's bad pinches or coughing the puck up in the defensive zone? Get him out for somebody useful to the team.
Understood, and agreed - but if we're really to believe he could turn it around under AV then it's been to soon .... -- ... but then again if you hold on to him does his trade value continue to diminish and how much does he hurt your team. When a guy's got the tools to make the team at 19, as a DMan no less do you just throw him in the trash? Tough call but I agree and have always said as well that his problems are in the head. There comes a time when you cut your losses make a trade and get whatever valued back you can.
I've been saying for 2 years now, Del Zotto is out of his league and looks like he belongs in a roller hockey league.
I wouldn't mind seeing Bickel to add some much needed toughness to the blueline.
So stupid...If the Rangers make moves now its the stupidest move they could do. As what Al referred to, hockey is a chemisty sport you must have chemistry and that isn't done by addingg or subtracting players... its formed over time with the same group. Leave it be.
Haha...I love this "live up to expectations" bit we keep recycling in respect to DelZotto. That may have applied some time ago, but now? Damn....given what he has been he surpasses my expectations every time he doesn't soil himself during the game.
even if mcilrath comes up and does make mistakes, i doubt it would be more mistakes than mdz so any way you look at it i think it would be an upgrade. del zotto isnt scoring and hes not defending but he is letting the puck get by him at the point probably 90% of the time. mcilrath might not score all the time but im sure hes gonna defend at least a little bit, and anyone who screws with our players would get their asses beat by someone bigger than dorsett and zucc. I say bring him up
I've been saying for 2 years he should be traded. Will never live up to expectations. Now his value is way down, should have pulled the trigger earlier.
Please no on mcilrath he just doesn't have the skating or puck moving ability to compete at the NHL level and will be exploited badly. I did like what we saw from Connor Allen though I think he has great potential.
MDZ still has trade value, so maybe something happens..
Oh boy, if McIlrath is able to play for the Rangers at a good no errors or lapses level that would be fantastic.That would really help the situation.
Couldn't agree more with giving McIlrath a shot to play if DZ is benched. We will be playing some physically tougher teams in the next 2 weeks and use someone in the line up who isn't afraid to mix it up. I f feel bad for DZ, I really think Torts retarded his growth in his tenure here.
They might as well trade MDZ while he still has value. There's not much he's doing that's irreplaceable. People say he has all this offensive prowess but he rarely uses it. I'd rather see what McIlrath or Allen has to offer. Trade him, trade him soon Glen.
Nash is skating today with the goalies and extras according to Pierre LeBrun. I'm assuming Kevin is gonna get a post up soon. Man, wouldn't it be nice to get him back.
Just MHO, but all this concern of breaking up chemistry is for naught. Not that I don't think team chemistry is important, but the reality is that the NYR are going to have to change personnel in the next 1-2 years cause of all the contracts that are up. It's the reality, unless the cap goes up dramatically or players sign for significantly small pay-raises.
I hope I'm wrong, but even with the improved play, this does not look like a Cup contending team. so the NYR should be sellers, not buyers this year.
I say trade him. I gave him some constructive criticism last year on twitter and he blocked me! That has nothing to do with anything but I just wanted to get that off my chest!
I think Allen is a better option. Mike DZ needs a change, it'll be good for him to move. AV said talent has no age, but I do worry that Sather will trade something crazy and ruin our chemistry. Look at the isles since trading Mollsen. Chemistry is done. Vanik and Taveres aren't clicking.
I think DZs problems are all between his ears, and I think a big factor this year his bromance with Richards is non existent while Richards is spending more time mentoring the teams new youngster like Kreider. His most consistent season was Richards' first, two years ago, and he gave a lot of credit to Richards for his success. Game after game, especially on the PP together, DZ skips the easy pass or shot and tries to force plays to Richards.
It sounds far fetched, but I'm telling you, this is Bromance 101.
I for one was a huge fan on DZ two years ago, always backed the kid day in and day out. I just can't stand the consistent terrible play anymore. It's shocking that the kid has regressed so much. A change of scenery would be perfect for him and I bet he improves but just not to the flyers because im sure somehow that'll burn us. He thinks way to much and is probably trying way to hard rather than just playing his game. Now onto who should replace him, I mean this team is craving a tough player that can play solid d. This team needs to give McIlrath a shot. Its time for them to have a stay at home D man next to Moore to play 17-18 minutes a game and let Moore pinch and carry the puck while McIlrath sits back, blasts guys who put their head down and will actually stand up for his teammates. I love Dorsett and hes tough but hes not a heavyweight. You think someones going to take a run at a top player with the undertaker on the ice? no. not without paying for it
it's always striking the way DZ cannot keep the puck in the o zone when it comes flying up to the point, remarkable how the puck just leaps past his stick on a regular basis; i mean, just stand in front of it or something if you can't control it with your stick. and then there's over-committing and taking unnecessary chances that leave us exposed. i'm curious to see what happens. i know he and AV have already spoken at length. DZ has a chance, but with his minutes dwindling, one wonders ...
Conor Allen played well in camp. Maybe he's a more solid 6-man than McIlrath
While I can appreciate the chemistry argument, I think that, as soon as we can get good value for MDZ, we should move him.... and this from one of his biggest fans and supporters since the beginning. Unfortunately, MDZ has shown little improvement in his game and, despite the Rangers playing better as of late, they still have to step up their game considerably to make a serious run during the playoffs. Then, there is Rick Nash and when he will return to the lineup. I say move MDZ if they can get someone in return that can help this team.
I agree about chemistry but umm delzaster is screwing up more than ever. I like the kid. I think he can improve, I just don't see it happening here.
If he's not getting the ice time and he has trade value, trade him. I'm strangely OK with this deal...just not to the Flyers.
@Beckfan5 Bickel?? He is slower than Pyatt and makes way more mistakes than MDZ. He's a career AHLer
@Beckfan5 Bickel??? I guess all those years of watching DZ play has made you numb to frequent and foolish errors on the blue line ha ha...
@Lou Guida If I don't believe you about chemistry and that making too many changes is a detractor to chemistry should I go ask the Pittsburgh Penguins? :)
I'm no MDZ fan, but to think McIlrath is going to be less of a liability that MDZ at this current stage in their careers is very wishful thinking. Remember that pre-season game against PHI, where he made mistake after mistake leading to I think 3 PHI goals? I've watched the Pack play, and McIlrath is not that much different than how he played in that pre-season game, and the only reason he doesn't look like a liability is because he's going up against AHL talent.
I'll give DZ that. He may look bad, but he's trying to play D against the best hockey players in the world.
With that said, NYR should still trade MDZ, cause I would not think it would be wise to sign him as a RFA (when you know DZ is going to be looking for a raise, despite his poor play)
@PacNYR44 I've never seen any noticeable problem with McIIrath's skating in the few games I've seen with him,I just saw someone who was outplayed and not ready for the NHL level.Connor Allen looked more adapted to the level, but Connor Allen is not going to bust someones nose for elbowing Nash or running over Lundqvist. Rangers need that confidence that someone always has their back.
@jslnyr1102 I always thought Torts gave him too much leeway. DZ was bad last season under Torts, yet always got lots of ice time and rarely was benched.
@KreiderisTheChosenOne I think we have to call mcillrath and allen up separately and give them a chance and see what they got before we trade dz. I know dz is bad lately but he might be the least of the evils here atleast for this season.
Makes us a contender. He's just that much of a game changer at 100 percent, especially if you're adding him to a team that is 6-2 in its last 8 and has the kind of goaltending we have been getting. Still think he is at least 2 weeks away (just to be safe)
@nyRags4life I'd prefer McIlrath over Allen. McIlrath seems to be turning into a bit more of a defensive presence with his improved play and positioning while also, surprisingly, bringing a bit of offense to the table. McIlrath has three goals this year which is...surprising. And awesome.
@johnnyb3910 I hate to say it, but I think it's simpler than this. DelZotto's got all the tools, but he doesn't strike me as someone who works very hard. He was cocky when he came into the league, was cocky after his rookie season, and was cocky when he got sent down to the AHL in his 2nd year. With that said, he's still really just a kid, and kids are immature sometimes. It's very possible as he gets older, he'll start to settle into his own.
@johnnyb3910 I hear you, but at some point you have to be able to take the baby sitter away.
I think people are focusing too much on adding toughness and not remembering what skill mcilrath really lacks. From what I saw in the pre season he is no where close to an NHL level defenseman. How people can complain about del zottos poor play and bad turn overs and then suggest mcilrath is the answer is just crazy to me.
@AG_Blue Watching him during a live game, it's even worse. You can see how bad MDZ's positioning is, and it really hurts him defensively. Positioning is so important for d-men. Look at Danny G. Not the fleetest of foot, but his positioning is so good that he's become an all-star d-man who lacks all-star talent.
@fs2020 @PacNYR44 I like McIlrath, but it's glaringly obvious that his skating is his major problem. He's fine north/south when he gets going, but he has a very slow first step and it causes him to be behind in the play a lot. His slow first step is what directly causes him to be in poor position quite frequently, and it limits his lateral mobility, which is crucial for an NHL d-man. Remember that PHI pre-season game where he got burned 3 times or so, leading I think directly to 2 PHI goals? (and that was against pseudo-NHL talent cause it was a pre-season game and PHI was not running their top roster)
With that said, I would like the NYR to call him up just to give him a taste of what the NHL is like to help in his development, even if it's just for a few games.
@KreiderisTheChosenOne I cannot wait to see what Nasher can do with a system geared towards his style, now that the team trusts the system.
the reports are that McIlrath's play has improved considerably, and that's all well and good, but in the pre-season it looked like he was at least another year away. also, even though he's big, he's still a kid, and i don't think he would even be a dominant tough guy in this league. besides all that, AV plays a different kind of game and favors skill. Conor Allen looked like he was right on the edge but didn't make it because they wanted to be sure he'd get good minutes and Falk made more sense as the 7th man. If DZ goes, Allen is a more sensible replacement from within the system.