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Rangers healthy scratch Del Zotto… again

Nov 27, 2013, 6:13 PM EDT

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 31: Michael Del Zotto #4 of the New York Rangers skates during an NHL hockey game against the Buffalo Sabres at Madison Square Garden on October 31, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images) Getty Images

Michael Del Zotto will be back in the press box on Wednesday night and, quite possibly, back in his coach’s doghouse as well.

Del Zotto will be a healthy scratch for the Rangers for tonight’s game in Florida, the team announced this afternoon. It marks the fourth time in seven games the 23-year-old rearguard has been dropped from the lineup.

The former first round pick was a healthy scratch in three straight games last week before drawing back in for wins over Dallas and Nashville, then a 5-0 blowout loss in Tampa (Del Zotto went minus-2 in the defeat to the Lightning.)

The lack of harmony between he and head coach Alain Vigneault has led to numerous trade rumors, including one linking Del Zotto to Ottawa (which apparently went cold, according to TSN’s Darren Dreger.)

All of this marks a pretty quick fall from grace for Del Zotto. Last season, he signed a two-year, $5.1 million extension and proceeded to score 21 points in 46 games, leading all Rangers defensemen in scoring.

Through 19 games this year, he has just four points and is averaging a career-low 18:08 TOI per game.

  1. bleedrangerblue - Nov 27, 2013 at 6:20 PM

    It’s BS they are targeting MDZ. Sit Boyle! Let MDZ play without all the distractions. We have many problems here. Dammit!! LGR!!!

  2. stakex - Nov 27, 2013 at 6:49 PM

    When a coach has no answer, he picks on someone that the fans don’t really care for. MDZ isn’t at all to blame for the Rangers issues this year, yet he’s the only on AV is targeting… likely because the fans have turned on the guy (for what reason, I’m not really sure) over the last year or so.

    • nicknyhc - Nov 28, 2013 at 12:58 AM

      Answer for what? The Rangers aren’t playing bad.

      MDZ was Torts’ golden boy for years. His defensive play is atrocious, he makes bad pinches, he’s a turnover machine when it comes to making outlet passes through the neutral zone, and isn’t an overly physical player or a fighter. For a defenseman who’s supposedly a scorer he can’t find the back of the net to save his life. Not to mention he is HORRIBLE in the playoffs every year.

      So what exactly does he bring to the table? He’s probaly the most over rated d-man in the NHL.

  3. jacketsfan7 - Nov 27, 2013 at 6:50 PM

    4 PTS in 19 games from a highly skilled young player , this is a wake up call , he really needs this to get his game back on track

  4. slaugin - Nov 27, 2013 at 6:53 PM

    He’s a D man, you can’t evaluate his performance based on his points alone

    • yourmomcantspell - Nov 27, 2013 at 10:27 PM

      The only thing worse than MDZ’s point production is his defensive play.

  5. ironcity6pak - Nov 27, 2013 at 7:44 PM

    He would be welcomed in Pitt

  6. LampyB - Nov 27, 2013 at 8:06 PM

    Slaugin is right, but MDZ’s defensive play has been terrible so he shouldnt be played. He flat out sux this yr.

  7. canucks30 - Nov 27, 2013 at 9:33 PM

    Once you’re in Vigneault’s doghouse you NEVER come out.

    See Ballard, Keith

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