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Report: Sather shopping Del Zotto, Girardi, possibly others

Dec 23, 2013, 9:57 AM EDT

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 20: Dan Girardi #5 and Michael Del Zotto #4 of the New York Rangers leave the ice following a 5-3 loss to the New York Islanders at Madison Square Garden on December 20, 2013 in New York City. Getty Images

It’s no secret that the New York Rangers haven’t even come close to living up to expectations this season. With nearly half the campaign in the books, Rangers GM Glen Sather is trying to make a trade to spark his club, according to league executives that talked to the Ottawa Sun.

It’s believed that Sather is willing to entertain offers involving just about any player not named Chris Kreider, Rick Nash, or Henrik Lundqvist. On top of that, he’s reportedly been shopping defensemen Dan Girardi and Michael Del Zotto.

The fact that Sather would like to trade Del Zotto is hardly a shock. Rangers coach Alain Vigneault hasn’t been impressed by the offensive defenseman and has made him a healthy scratch on multiple occasions.

At the same time, the blueliner is just 23 years old and recorded 13 goals and 62 points in 123 contests over the previous two campaigns. He also comes with a reasonable $2.55 million cap hit and is scheduled to become a restricted free agent this summer, so there should be a market for him.

Senators GM Bryan Murray has reportedly shown interest in Del Zotto, but Murray isn’t in a position to increase the team’s payroll, so the Rangers would have to be willing to help keep the deal balanced financially.

Girardi being mentioned is a bit more surprising when you consider how heavily the Rangers have leaned on the 29-year-old defenseman in recent years. At the same time, he is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent this summer and is likely to demand a sizable raise over his current annual cap hit of roughly $3.3 million.

Of course, the NHL is currently in the midst of the holiday roster freeze, so the Rangers can’t do anything in the near term.

  1. steelers88 - Dec 23, 2013 at 10:05 AM

    I don’t think it’s the players that is screwing up I feel that it is the coaching staff and the system that Vanigunt runs. That would be stupid if Girardi and Del Zotto. In Del Zotto’s case why would you trade a 23 year old defenseman? They are so hard to come by. Del Zotto is still a young hockey player he is still growing and learning. Give him a couple more years.

    • metalization1 - Dec 23, 2013 at 10:23 AM

      There are so many things wrong with your comment, I don’t even know where to begin. Grammar is not your enemy.

      • esracerx46 - Dec 23, 2013 at 10:48 AM

        * not your friend. But I agree. That was difficult to read. Not to mention a poor argument. Del Zotto is a forward playing defense. I think Ranger fans would take less offense to get more defence. However, this year he’s not really providing either.

      • metalization1 - Dec 23, 2013 at 1:57 PM

        @esracerx46 I did mean Grammar is not your enemy. As in, don’t be afraid to use proper grammar when commenting. Rather, embrace it because if people can understand what you are saying, they might listen. I hope that clarifies my comment.

    • kastout11 - Dec 23, 2013 at 12:14 PM

      This is the NHL, especially in NY, you cannot give him a couple years to grow and learn. I would love to see either of these guys on the blue line in Philly. I like Braden Schenn, but I would put him in a deal right now for either of those guys, but there is no way Sather will work with Philly.

      • stickyt3 - Dec 24, 2013 at 2:40 PM

        Brayden Shenn is a forward, and not the type of forward the Rangers need. Also I think regardless of the stats John Moore is just as much of a defensive liability as del zotto, he pinches way too much, couldn’t clear a child out of the crease, and that point to point bull he pulled last night would have been a goal if it wasn’t for stralman taking a good penalty. The rangers have a very bad problem on defense, especially if staal can’t stay healthy. In my opinion the only defenseman that should be on the block are staal, Moore, and del zotto. Gerardi is no longer a top pair in this system but is an outstanding penalty killer he needs to be on this team. 2 for 1 for a top pair d man and most importantly FIRE GLEN SATHER he is the root of all the Rangers problems.

  2. steelers88 - Dec 23, 2013 at 10:07 AM

    Sometimes the best trades are the ones you don’t make.

    • stakex - Dec 23, 2013 at 12:36 PM

      While that’s true, something needs to happen for the Rangers. If AV is going to stay behind the bench, this group of players just isn’t going to cut it with his system.

      • jpelle82 - Dec 23, 2013 at 1:59 PM

        one of the few times i’ve found myself agreeing with you. he made the coaching choice, now he’s realizing he needs the players to fit the coach. seems a little backwards to me. the team seems to be at a point of transition now, a lot of guys coming up in free agency boyle, brassard, girardi, del zotto, callahan, strahlman, pyatt, moore, moore, pouliot, falk…kreider? did i miss anyone? plus a buyout in richards maybe? seems like its rebuilding time

  3. xdj511 - Dec 23, 2013 at 10:16 AM

    Well it’s a slow news day so let’s troll Rangers fans with this recycled “Sather is trying to trade so-and-so headline”

    It’s hard to get behind it the morning after what was arguably one of the best games of the Rangers’ season. They played hard and forechecked and dominated play and actually scored some goals! Hopefully they can carry over this momentum against Toronto tonight and go into the holiday break on a high note. (Cue Cloris Leachman from History of the World Part 1)

  4. bricevjohnson - Dec 23, 2013 at 10:59 AM

    Will there ever be a point where the Rangers ownership realize that Glen Sather hasn’t had success since the early 90’s? You know, you are ALLOWED to fire him…

    • stakex - Dec 23, 2013 at 12:39 PM

      Allowed to yes. Desire to? Hah.

      Dolan is one of the worst owners in all of sports. Him and Sather are buddies, and he has made clear that he has the job for life.

      • cofran2004 - Dec 23, 2013 at 1:39 PM

        Such is our plight, fellow rangers fans. Sigh…

  5. cruuuzcontrol - Dec 23, 2013 at 11:03 AM

    Well, unless they’re trading D for D, they need Staal back before they move anyone… With McIlrath hurt in AHL, they are going to be organizationally shorthanded until then. I understand why some are hesitant to trade MDZ, but his offensive game is not improving and he’s prone to plenty of defensive miscues. If he’s not going to be an asset to the first power play unit, he’s worthless to the Rangers. Hopefully there’s at least one GM out there that will bank on his potential.

    • xdj511 - Dec 23, 2013 at 11:06 AM

      “potential” is still a very attractive commodity to most GM’s. If Sather is serious about moving MDZ I’m sure he’ll find a taker sooner or later. The only problem is that Sather is also a big believer in potential and he’s likely to get little more than magic beans in return, unless he pulls off another Ryan McDonagh-esque miracle.

  6. cruuuzcontrol - Dec 23, 2013 at 11:15 AM

    @xdj… Magic beans > Pyatt, Asham, D. Moore, etc…

    • xdj511 - Dec 23, 2013 at 11:27 AM

      Well Pouliot has suddenly started being useful… like they said last night maybe he just needed to be benched as a wake-up call. Pyatt has been effectively buried and you have to wonder if when Cally comes back in a couple of weeks if he’s not just going to get released. Asham got one more shot to provide much-needed “grit” and failed. I don’t think we’re going to see him again. D. Moore is still an effective penalty killer and that is really all the Rangers ever wanted from him anyway, so he’s probably not going anywhere.

      The Rangers are in a tough spot anyway because they’re pretty close to the cap. They can’t really take on any more salary than they have so if they make a deal it’s probably going to be a salary dump for prospects, and that’s only going to happen if they fall far out of the playoff picture.

  7. pdmjr - Dec 23, 2013 at 11:25 AM

    Nash should be on the top of the list, he stinks. Of course some goof would have to pay him

  8. stakex - Dec 23, 2013 at 12:55 PM

    For starters, I still dislike the idea of trading Del Zotto. He might have some defensive issues, but with the Rangers struggling for offense as bad as they are, he’s someone they should keep. When he’s on, he as the ability to be one of the best offensive defensemen in the NHL, and that’s something the Rangers desperately need.

    Girardi on the other hand? He simply isn’t able to play the man coverage system AV wants him to. Under Torts, they played zone defense, and Girardi’s lack of speed wasn’t as evident. If AV isn’t on the chopping block, it makes sense to move Girardi in favor of another defensemen capable of playing AV style defense. Girardi also has the higher value, and aside from another defensemen the Rangers might also be able to get a solid 3rd/4th liner in return. That might not sound lie much, but the Rangers 3rd/4th line have been useless.

  9. withseidelinn - Dec 23, 2013 at 12:56 PM

    I think the Leafs should inquire about Girardi if he is indeed available. The type of defenseman they need right now. Ideally they would send Liles to NYR, but they already have a horrible cap situation this summer and would not take on that contract. Don’t really see the room for Girardi’s current contract on the Leaf’s roster, not to mention the raise they would have to give him in the off season. I like Clarkson as a player but man does that contract handcuff them when it comes to getting help for their D.

    • cofran2004 - Dec 23, 2013 at 1:47 PM

      clarkson for girardi? No thanks… we need people that can actually, ya know… score goals.

      • dbarnes79 - Dec 23, 2013 at 2:25 PM

        He didn’t say Girardi for Clarkson. He said Clarkson’s contract makes it hard for Leafs to acquire and defenseman. Or anyone for that matter.

      • cofran2004 - Dec 24, 2013 at 7:44 AM

        Ah, apologies then. I misinterpretted that. Quite badly, as a matter of fact.

      • withseidelinn - Dec 23, 2013 at 2:54 PM

        Yeah I never mentioned anything close to Clarkson for Girardi.

  10. sportsfan69 - Dec 24, 2013 at 4:16 PM

    Untradable, Henrik Lundqvist? There’s not a GM in the NHL that would trade for him and his huge cap salary. 8.5 million dollars, the next highest paid goaltender is at 6.5 per year. Lundqvist’s contract will set back the NY Rangers the next seven years. What the hell is James Dolan doing? No Stanley Cups, not even a Stanley Cup Finals, Mr. Dolan signs Lundqvist to that reckless contract. What a moron. I’m sorry, in the last eight years Henrik Lundqvist has not been the best goaltender in the league. He’s in a large media market with close celebrity friends who have tremendous clout in making him larger than life. John Quick should have won the Vezina in 2011. He won the Stanley Cup and carried his team. Lundqvist didn’t even make it to the Finals. Ottawa’s Anderson out played him played. The Rangers team carried Lundqvist the first two rounds. This not right, Lundqvist gets a free pass all the time.

    • tdrusher225 - Dec 27, 2013 at 11:03 AM

      Firstly, The cap is going to increase dramatically over the next few years so, no, it’s not going to set the Rangers back that badly. Secondly, you’re high if you think Lundqvist hasn’t been one of the NHL’s best goalies over the last decade. His Vezina win in 2011 was well-deserved and he has probably been the biggest reason for the Rangers’ success over the last few years. You don’t get to place all the blame on a guy because his team hasn’t been extremely successful, just how you don’t give a guy like Jonathan Quick all the glory because “he won the Stanley Cup”. This is the ultimate team sport and it doesn’t fall upon one player to win a Championship for his team.

  11. slysipops - Dec 25, 2013 at 8:47 PM

    SATHER SAYS……..?

  12. ajsjr40 - Dec 28, 2013 at 10:10 PM

    With Seidenberg out the Bruins may come calling for Girardi. Lots of young assets to offer the Rangers.

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