Del Zotto will be a real interesting situation in training camp. I don’t think that he will make the team if he isn’t playing well or if someone is playing better than him. This year was sort of lost for him. He struggled, was sent down, was called back up too soon, sent back down, and then got hurt. You hope that he picked up a lot from watching and understood why the Rangers sent him down.
“There are a number of building blocks with Michael, and a number of defensemen that have pretty good rookie years ended up taking a step backwards. You accept that, and maybe change some things, and I don’t want to get into specifics, but something has to change, and you embrace the process, because it’s not an easy position to play. I’m really anxious to see Michael, first of all to get him healthy, and I’m really anxious to see him in camp again. He’s going to get a fair whack at it again in camp. I think there’s mental maturity that comes involved in it, and each player goes through ups and downs that Michael has done. I think he’ll mature. I know I use it ad nauseam, but the process. That’s what it is. These are young people. This is a young team, that is still going through the process.”
“In the second half of the year, he wasn’t exactly dead on,” Tortorella said. “I just had slipped a little bit. He’s got tremendous promise and it’s something we need. We need that offensive type guy. He’s learning how to defend. It’s the offensive part of his game that we hope comes out. Because that’s a big part of what we need here.”