11:27AM: McKenzie adds that a contract like the one Matt Duchene signed, two years and $7 million, are harder to come by now as teams are taking a harder stance against players still developing and rewarding them with big money.
He adds “When the NHL constructed the collective bargaining agreement seven years ago, it thought players coming out of their entry-level deals would be in a tough spot with no arbitration rights. But a lot of precocious third-year players have nevertheless hit the jackpot. Aside from the obvious NHL-NHLPA dispute on how to divvy up revenue, this issue of reining in salaries on entry-level grads is a front-burner for many NHL general managers.”
6:44PM: On TSN Bob McKenzie said that none of the high profile restricted free agents like Michael Del Zotto, Evander Kane and Jamie Benn are close to signing new deals with their teams.
McKenzie says that the players would like to sign long term deals but need to decide if they want to sign short term or risk seeing what the new CBA brings
Defenseman Michael Del Zotto is in NY and preparing for the start of training camp with 13 other players at the Rangers training facility according to Andrew Gross.
Del Zotto, a RFA, told Gross that he is preparing for the season as he normally does and that the contract stuff “is out of my control.”
He added that he knows that it’s a business.
Reports last month suggested that Del Zotto and the Rangers were far apart on a new contract.
The deal is expected to get wrapped up before the CBA expires on September 15th.
Over the weekend it was reported that the Rangers are trying very hard to get Michael Del Zotto under contract but the two sides are not that close on a contract.
The Rangers are reportedly offering Del Zotto a short term deal worth $2.2 to $2.5 million.
On TSN’s That’s Hockey, the panel wondered if Del Zotto should feel insulted with the Rangers offer.
Mike Johnson said “Del Zotto’s camp realize it’s a business and see that the Rangers are trying to exert some pressure. They also look at this and thinks that it’s par for the course with the Rangers as they did this with Brandon Dubinsky, Ryan Callahan and Artem Anisimov. All of these guys took some time to re-sign coming off of their entry-level deals so you know that going in you can appreciate that it’s just part of the deal.”
He adds, “Michael Del Zotto, like most players would prefer a long-term deal, but he will have to wait and try to negotiate a better deal. It’s hard not to be a little offended when money is being splashed around and it’s not coming your way.”
Jamie McLennan said, “what do you have to gain. He isn’t being offered term or a price point where he feels that he belongs so this is a tough situation. When it comes down to it there is not much working for him in his favor. Del Zotto and his management team is going to have to look at what they have been offered and make some decisions.
Craig Button said, “I think the Rangers are looking at two players in their own group for Michael Del Zotto. First is Marc Staal, he signed a long-term deal just under $4 million but the first year coming out of entry-level was $3.1 million. They have Ryan McDonagh coming up next year so they are trying to fit Michael Del Zotto into their defense salary structure with $2.2 to $2.5. Everyone has made the point that Michael Del Zotto doesn’t have a lot of leverage, no arbitration rights, and while Del Zotto does want the money, they are moving closer, internally, towards the numbers that Marc Staal is at.
The belief is that Del Zotto will sign before the CBA expires.
In the NY Post, Larry Brooks writes that the Rangers and representatives for Michael Del Zotto are not that close on a new contract.
Del Zotto, an RFA, is reportedly getting an offer of between $2.2 and $2.5 million from the Rangers.
Brooks writes that there is pressure on Del Zotto to sign before the CBA expires as there could be less money for the Rangers to give Del Zotto.
Del Zotto had a cap hit of $1.087 million on his entry level deal.
Michael: Are you afraid that the Flyers or Red Wings will send an offer sheet to Del Zotto? Why hasn’t he signed yet? Other teams are looking for defensemen and I am worried the Rangers will lose him!
Adam Rotter: I am not worried about the Rangers losing Del Zotto to a hold out or to an offer sheet. The Rangers refused to include Del Zotto in any trade proposals and John Tortorella said “By no means are we trying to move Michael Del Zotto or lose him.” Del Zotto said himself that he thinks his deal will be done and that his agent and the Rangers are talking.
There seems to be a lack of urgency regarding RFA defensemen as John Carlson, PK Subban, Jonathon Blum and Dmitry Kulikov are also unsigned. Whether it’s agents waiting until one of the other defensemen sign to set the market or the teams waiting until a new CBA is figured out with a change to second contracts, something is holding up the market. Again, Del Zotto will be a Ranger this season and if some team does come with an offer sheet, and Del Zotto signs it, the team won’t waste any time in matching it.
Last night Michael Del Zotto was on Sportsnet radio with Elliotte Friedman and Mike Zeisberger.
This is a recap of what he had to say:
- On trade rumors, DZ said “It is definitely tough when you hear your name involved and it went on for quite a few months and even through the offseason. It’s the nature of the business and you realize that whatever happens off the ice is out of your control. I’ve heard rumors for the last six or seven months but I love being in NY and all those rumors make it tough to play on the ice especially in the twitter world with the fan access and hearing what they are saying. If you are mentally tough you can block it out or use it as motivation”
- On finding out about Nash coming to the Rangers “I was coming off the ice and reading through some texts from people asking if I was going to Columbus. I hadn’t heard anything yet so I was a bit surprised and a little worried not knowing what was going on and then my dad called me with the details of the trade.”
Below Del Zotto talks about Rick Nash, working on his new deal and the negative feedback he gets on twitter.
To read more of this story, click here
Rangers defenseman Michael Del Zotto told Blueshirts United that he loves playing in New York and is confident that a new contract will get done.
He said “it’s is going to happen, it’s just something out of my control. I did my job this past year in trying to help the team win. Management and my agent are working things out. I love New York and understand the business side of things, too.”
John Tortorella said on the radio yesterday “Michael had a tremendous bounce back year, defended very well and had a very good playoff until the end. By no means are we trying to move Michael Del Zotto or lose him. We are looking to add more on the back end.”
The Rangers are believed to want Del Zotto back on a two-year deal worth between $1.75 and $2.25 million per season.