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Del Zotto has ‘no idea’ about new contract with Preds

Apr 21, 2014, 4:35 PM EDT

MichaelDelZotto Getty Images

Coming off one of the worst years — if not the worst — of his NHL career, Michael Del Zotto isn’t sure about his future with the Nashville Predators.

“I have no idea what’s going to happen,” the pending RFA said, per The Tennessean. “Obviously I’m not too happy with how this year has gone for me. I have high expectations for myself, and being traded here I wanted to prove I could play to the best of my ability and how I had in the past.

“We’ll see what happens this summer and just take it one day at a time.”

Del Zotto, 23, was acquired by Nashville in January in exchange for Kevin Klein but failed to make much of an impact with the Preds, scoring just one goal and five points in 25 games, finishing with a minus-4 rating while spending time as a healthy scratch. Ex-Preds head coach Barry Trotz questioned Del Zotto’s intensity level and noted his play slipped not long after being acquired.

As such, the pending Del Zotto negotiations figure to be tricky — as they usually are with restricted free agents.

Two years ago, the future looked pretty bright for MDZ; he racked up a career-high 41 points — as a 21-year-old — and finished 12th in Norris voting, ahead of Duncan Keith. He was playing big minutes and parlayed that into a two-year, $5.1 million extension with the Rangers, signed just prior to the lockout-shortened ’13 campaign.

Now, though, some of that luster has worn off. His defensive issues have been well-documented and he’s failed to impress each of his last two coaches, Trotz and Alain Vigneault. So it’ll be curious to see what kind of offer Preds GM David Poile tables this summer.

All that said, it’s worth noting that Del Zotto appears to like playing in Nashville.

“I’ve enjoyed my time here. I’ve only been here 2½ months,” Dhe explained. “The guys have been great to me, the organization has been unbelievable.”

  1. tomas3345 - Apr 21, 2014 at 4:41 PM

    I’m glad that the Rangers got some return for Del Zaster, just unfortunate that he never panned out loved him on the gens

  2. bleedrangerblue - Apr 21, 2014 at 5:07 PM

    What happened to that kid? Loved him during that playoff run a couple of years ago.

  3. barkar942 - Apr 21, 2014 at 5:31 PM

    Personally, I feel from watching him that he has a hard time separating his personal emotions from his job. When he has been “scolded” by any of his coaches, he takes it personally and then his game drops off because he is not playing with the “emotion” of getting up to do his job, he is playing with his “personal emotion” where he seems to “take things personally” instead of taking it as “Hey- you screwed up on that play. Learn from it and don’t do it again” . I think AV gave up on him in the Tampa game when Tampa pulled the same faceoff play twice in a row and he got beat exactly the same way twice in a row.
    I equate him as to being another Mike Green or Chris Letang. Instead of playing this kid on defense, move him up to the wing and use him on the PP on the point. Matt Gilroy was another I thought would have been better suited to play wing.

  4. nashernation - Apr 21, 2014 at 6:24 PM

    Great trade by Sather. MDZ is a mess. Torts tried with this Kidd but he just isn’t a smart hockey player. Klein has been a steady 3rd pairing for the Blue Shirts

  5. 7mantel - Apr 21, 2014 at 7:26 PM

    Thought he would flourish under Trotz !

  6. bleedrangerblue - Apr 21, 2014 at 8:55 PM

    Torts ridiculed everyone. He ridiculed Vancouvers players. He tried to kill Calgarys locker room. The guy stunted the growth of Kreider(get well soon). A Complete tool. Hope he gets fired. Embarrassed the Ranger logo every interview. And no Hagelin doesn’t stink you do.

  7. bleedrangerblue - Apr 21, 2014 at 8:55 PM

    Torts ridiculed everyone. He ridiculed Vancouvers players. He tried to kill Calgarys locker room. The guy stunted the growth of Kreider(get well soon). A Complete tool. Hope he gets fired. Embarrassed the Ranger logo every interview. And no Hagelin doesn’t stink you do.

  8. jkay1818 - Apr 21, 2014 at 9:27 PM

    where is the article when they made this deal and a lot of fans were complaining, and non ranger fans thought it was a horrid move. I said this was a great move and it’s panning out just fine. the guy was a turnover machine and was caught napping more times than not. he was good his rookie yr, horrid his second and then bounced back and then horrid again this year.
    he is too inconsistent. Klein has been extremely sound on the blue line, exactly what you want for a good d core

  9. phillyphanatic77 - Apr 21, 2014 at 9:35 PM

    I don’t get what happened to MDZ… I sincerely thought he and Mcdonagh were going to be building blocks on the Rangers blueline for a decade. Now he’s a healthy scratch in Nashville? At 23 it’s way too early to give up on this kid. He’s atleast got the talent be a 2nd unit PP QB/3rd pairing guy, just needs to rebuild his confidence.

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