Trade, a long time coming for Del Zotto
For Michael Del Zotto, it appeared that the Broadway stage was simply too big for him. As a result, the Rangers went ahead and traded the 23-year-old defenseman to the Nashville Predators in exchange for defenseman Kevin Klein.
There is no doubt that Del Zotto has a lot of offensive talent. He has the ability to rush the puck up the ice, has an accurate wrist shot, and can make great passes in the offensive zone.
With all that said, however, his solid offensive abilities were not enough to overcome the problems Del Zotto has on the other side of the puck. Sure, picking up assists and scoring goals is a nice way to contribute but as a defenseman, Del Zotto's first job is to take care of things in his own zone, which he struggled with.
For starters, Del Zotto is a turnover machine with the puck in his own zone. It is clear that when Del Zotto has the puck in his team's end, he lacks the confidence to make the easy play and go off the boards and instead, tries a long pass, which rarely works in this league anymore.
Secondly, Del Zotto was constantly out of position when he was on the ice for goals against. More often than not, he committed too early or got caught up in chasing the puck around in his own zone.
Lastly, it was clear that Del Zotto was no longer in the team's plans. He was a healthy scratch several times this season, which showed that the Rangers' brass no longer trusted him to play his position for their hockey club.
Again, there is no doubt that Del Zotto has a lot of upside and that the Predators made a move that could end up proving to be a solid one for them. With that said, Del Zotto's clock in New York had simply run out.