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Del Zotto is anxious to sign with Rangers

Jan 7, 2013, 10:02 PM EDT

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 23: Michael Del Zotto #4 of the New York Rangers warms-up prior to the game against the New Jersey Devils in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Final during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden on May 23, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Scott Levy/NHLI via Getty Images) Getty Images

The quick turnaround from a CBA agreement to training camp creates a crash course for just about every player, but guys without deals will feel the biggest squeeze. That probably explains why restricted free agent Michael Del Zotto sounded antsy while discussing contract talks with ESPN’s Katie Strang.

“I’m hoping to get something done as soon as possible,” Del Zotto said. “I know my agents and Glen (Sather) are talking and I expect that they’ll try to get a deal that’s fair to me and the team.”

Strang reports that the New York Rangers GM is expected to meet with his agent Don Meehan on Tuesday.

Some believe that the offensive defenseman was previously asking for at least $3 million per season:

A source told that Del Zotto was previously seeking a multiyear deal for more than $3 million a year, although it is not immediately clear if that stance has softened given the time-sensitive situation and Del Zotto’s lack of leverage.

The 22-year-old blueliner’s had an interesting three seasons with the Blueshirts. He burst onto the scene with a 37-point rookie campaign, regressed to the point of getting sent to the minors in 2010-11 and then set career-highs in scoring (including 41 points), plus/minus (+20) and ice time (22:26 minutes per game) last season.

He acknowledged the unusually small timeline for getting a deal done.

“It’s not a normal circumstance obviously with half the season gone already but it’s the same situation as before. We’re just trying to get a deal that’s fair for both sides,” Del Zotto said. “I know I’m ready to play as soon as possible.”

  1. allcelebritiesworld - Jan 7, 2013 at 10:17 PM

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  3. bigbadbruins77 - Jan 7, 2013 at 11:02 PM

    I’d be excited to sign with that staked team too…lundquist…nash…gaborik…callahan…richards

  4. nyrnashty - Jan 7, 2013 at 11:54 PM

    The kid is a good D and he’s only 22. Now he’ll also have Nash to play with and he’ll be playing on the pp. Most D don’t get their complete game together until about 27, but still lots of Ranger fans love to hate on him. He’ll be resigned soon, he’s not going anywhere else.

  5. rsl22 - Jan 8, 2013 at 1:06 AM

    If I’m GM of another team, I’d offer the kid $4MM for 5 years, which I think would cost a first and third round pick if signed. With McDonagh, Stepan, and Hagelin UFAs after this season, and Krieder the year after, the Rags are gonna need to pony up some serious cash. I don’t know if they’d be able to match that.

    Not a Preds fan, but Poile should try to snag him.

  6. mmazzzzzz - Jan 8, 2013 at 4:56 AM

    Del Zotto is way overrated .
    Sign and trade.

    • tsnake - Jan 8, 2013 at 8:01 AM

      Agreed. Guy is the turnover king.

  7. capsfan19 - Jan 8, 2013 at 7:59 AM

    Id take em! But we already have john carlson! 😛

  8. hockeyfan763 - Jan 8, 2013 at 11:18 AM

    The kid is 22 !! How many 22 yr old defensemen have their whole game clicking….The upside this kid has makes him a must sign. He already has over 2 years of NHL experience at 22. Not many defensemen can say that.

  9. mmazzzzzz - Jan 8, 2013 at 12:29 PM

    he is a valuable trading chip and the rangers don’t need him with young players ready to move up. If they would just take the reigns off of Staal offensively they don’t need him on the PP

  10. jl9830 - Jan 8, 2013 at 12:42 PM

    The Rangers have a lot of money already on the books, and a few guys up for free agency in the next two years. A team with money to spend to call the Rangers’ bluff here and throw an offer sheet Del Zotto’s way. If the Rangers match, it could hurt them when it comes to McDonagh or Stepan, so that team would either acquire a 22-year old talented defenseman, or corner the Rangers in a tough spot.

  11. DED - Jan 8, 2013 at 1:13 PM

    Oh sure. He’s eager to sign now. He finally sees the writing on the wall. With a lowered salary cap coming in next year and other guys to re-sign, DZ realizes that he has to get a contract now or Sather might decide he’s expendable, which he still might do.

    I like DZ. He’s got a lot of talent. He’s young though so he still makes mistakes. How many 22-year olds have got 2 1/2 seasons of NHL playing time? Not many. He needs to settle down on the ice and off. He should take a 2-year deal that pays $4 million over the span and be happy because it’s double what he’s making now.

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