4:52PM: Del Zotto was not qualified and will become a free agent. (Bob McKenzie)
You can listen to Del Zotto’s interview, HERE.
12:27PM: Michael Del Zotto was a guest on Leafs Lunch on TSN 1050 and was asked about the Rangers and Henrik Lundqvist.
Del Zotto said, “it’s tough seeing them do as well as they are. I am happy for them and have a lot of great friends being there 4 and a half years and a lot of great people throughout the organization but it’s tough any time you leave and you see how well they are doing and ultimately you wish you were there. Growing up your goal is to lift the Stanley Cup and seeing how close they are now, they have been playing really well and it showed with getting to the Stanley Cup Final.”
- Del Zotto was a healthy scratch 8 times for the Rangers before being traded.
Nashville coach Barry Trotz said after the game that Del Zotto’s game has slipped and he has gotten away from “making solid decisions, solid plays.” (PHT)
Del Zotto was a minus six in his previous three games and since being traded (18 games) Del Zotto has 0 goals, 3 assists and is a minus five.
Del Zotto is averaging 17:06 per game with Nashville (18:45 with the Rangers) and according to Extra Skater the Predators have 50% of the 5 on 5 shot attempts when Del Zotto is on the ice (51.1% with the Rangers).
Since being acquired, Klein is playing 15:10 per game (19:48 in Nashville) and according to Extra Skater the Rangers have 50.9% of the 5 on 5 shot attempts when Klein is on the ice, up from 44% in Nashville.
When the Rangers traded Michael Del Zotto, Mats Zuccarello lost his closest/best friend on the team but said that he understands that trades are part of being a pro hockey player. (Nettavisen)
Zuccarello said that he is happy that Del Zotto gets a change of scenery but it’s “sour” to lose a good friend. (Nettavisen)
8:45PM: Del Zotto reminds Barry Trotz a bit of Kimmo Timonen from his days in Nashville. (NY Times)
Trotz says that Del Zotto was well coached by his friends John Tortorella and Alain Vigneault and that he may have just needed a change in atmosphere. (NY Times)
1:44PM: In his debut for the Nashville Predators, Michael Del Zotto played 13:15, had one shot on goal, one shot blocked, one hit, one takeaway and two blocked shots.
All of Del Zotto’s ice time came at even strength and he played 5:12 in the first, 4:50 in the second and 3:13 in the third.
According to Extra Skater, Del Zotto was on the ice for 13 shot attempts for, 13 against and 8 shots on goal for and 9 against.
Del Zotto said after the game that he felt great and was put in situations where he can play well. (Tennessean)
Barry Trotz said that Del Zotto had a good compete level, managed the puck well and overall he was happy with his effort. (Tennessean)
Predators GM David Poile spoke with the media yesterday about the team’s acquisition of Michael Del Zotto:
- “First, I would like to thank Kevin Klein and his family for all the great years that he gave the Predators. Drafted in 03 and having played over 400 games for the Predators, it’s the hardest part of a managers job when you have worked with these players for so long. Since 03, Klein has gotten married, has two kids and one of his kids was born here in Nashville. He was great in the community and a good player for us on the ice and it’s a difficult day for us. Having said that, today I have traded Kevin Klein to the New York Rangers for Michael Del Zotto. It’s a trade of two defensemen. The reasons why we did this were quite a few. Michael is a left handed defenseman and Klein is a right handed shot. We felt that with drafting Seth Jones and Ryan Ellie getting better and better with every game, this was beginning to be an inevitable situation with our teams in terms of ice time and fit on the right side of Shea Weber, Seth Jones and Ryan Ellis…”
The Rangers and Senators held several discussions about Michael Del Zotto but the Rangers continued to ask for Marc Methot and a prospect from the Senators AHL team in Binghamtom for Del Zotto. (Ottawa Sun)
Methot is a left shot defenseman who as of yesterday is not happy that he had to miss a game for an injury that he didn’t think was serious enough to keep him out. (Ottawa Sun)
It was reported about a month ago that the Rangers wanted Methot for Del Zotto.
Ottawa, earlier in the year, reportedly offered the Rangers players including Erik Condra, Eric Gryba and Colin Greening.
Bryan Murray and Glen Sather have never made a trade. (Ottawa Sun) Murray, 70, has been the GM in Ottawa since 2007-08, was the GM in Anaheim from 2002 to 2004, Florida from 1996 to 2000, and was the GM in Detroit from 1990 to 1994.
For the entire saga of Del Zotto rumors, which includes all mentions of the Senators, CLICK HERE.
Dreger said, “I think it’s fair to say that they were considered a serious trade partner but I don’t think the talks ever got to a point where either said decided to sit on it for a day or two and thought that there was some sense with it. The New York Rangers really wanted a right shot defenseman and yea there was talk about Jake Gardiner but they were more interested in Cody Franson. It just didn’t seem like a good fit, it’s not that the Leafs didn’t have interest in Del Zotto, they did but they were mindful of his deficiencies as well. They thought that it was too early in the year to make that play.”
The Colorado Avalanche had a “passing interest” in Michael Del Zotto but Glen Sather and the Rangers wanted too much in return for a trade. (Adrian Dater)
Dater, in response to a question of what the Rangers wanted from the Avalanche, said that the Rangers were asking for a first round pick. (Dater)
The Rangers have acquired Kevin Klein from Nashville for Del Zotto. (Darren Dreger)
Klein, 29, is signed for FOUR MORE seasons at $2.9 million.
Klein is 6-1, 199lbs a RIGHT HANDED SHOT and averaging 18:48 per game this season. He averages 2:11 on the PK per game.
- “Rangers have been looking for a right shot d-man for awhile. Vigneault’s influence also a factor from Canuck days facing the Preds.” (Darren Dreger)
- “NYR get reliable RS defender in Klein, with attractive cost certainty ($2.9M per thru to2018). Also, insulation if Girardi goes to UFA.” (Bob McKenzie)
- “AV would have an appreciation for Klein from his days coaching against him in the West. Should be a good, steady fit on right side for NYR. With the move, this also allows John Moore to go back to his natural left side. Just a better fit with Klein now there on the right” (Pierre LeBrun)
- I’m told from NYR that that Klein adds more balance to their Blueline & slots their D in more natural positions. (Kevin Weekes)
Del Zotto is an RFA at the end of the season and has a cap hit of $2.55 million. He is averaging 17:44 per game.
Predators GM David Poile says in a release, ““Michael gives us another young, gifted left-handed shooting defenseman with significant offensive upside. We look forward to his presence on our already talented young blue line, further balancing our defensive corps.”
THIS SECTION is all about Del Zotto rumors.
Adam Rotter: It was only a matter of time before Del Zotto was traded and the Rangers acquire a right-handed defenseman who is a veteran and under contract for a while. Del Zotto was expected to be a big part of Alain Vigneault’s offensive system and while he struggled with that he also struggled in his own zone and ultimately it became clear that whether the team was able to trade Del Zotto this season or not, he wasn’t going to be part of the Rangers future. The Rangers couldn’t keep waiting on Del Zotto to reach his potential. He was regressing and they had to make a move when they could still get something that they felt could help. I have no ill will towards Del Zotto, unlike many fans who despise him, and I hope he gets back to being an effective player again, it just didn’t seem like that was going to happen with the Rangers.
In the short-term I think this is a deal that works for the Rangers, gives them a steady defenseman and a plan to replace Anton Stralman if he gets to UFA or wants too much money. I don’t think this is the return that many were expecting, I thought it would be more of a Jake Gardiner type of high-upside/inconsistent defenseman, but instead the Rangers get what seems like a quiet and reliable defenseman who can kill penalties, eat minutes and make a positive impact. He doesn’t have tremendous upside, but if he can just be a solid player for the Rangers it will be a good move.