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Del Zotto eager to ‘prove everybody who’s doubted me wrong’

Jul 19, 2014, 12:15 PM EDT

Michael Del Zotto Getty Images

There’s no doubt it’s been a rough year for Michael Del Zotto.

He wound up in Alain Vigneault’s doghouse with the New York Rangers and was traded to Nashville where he wound up being “not a fit” with the Predators according to GM David Poile.

Now we’re almost three weeks into free agency and Del Zotto has yet to land with a team. That’s serving only to be a motivation for the 24-year-old defenseman as Luke Fox of Sportsnet shared.

“I’m just waiting for the right opportunity to prove myself again,” Del Zotto says, “and prove everybody who’s doubted me wrong.”

Del Zotto said he’s been speaking to “a bunch” of teams lately and he’s eager to show his offensive game can be a valuable asset to whatever team wants him.

The offensive game is fine, but it’s the defensive side of things that he’ll have to show aren’t an issue. Going back to his time playing for John Tortorella in New York, that was one of the issues that had to be figured out. At his age it’s not as if he’s a lost cause, but with how things have gone in the past year, including Barry Trotz saying his game has “slipped”, he’s proving to be a hard sell.

  1. c1md6 - Jul 19, 2014 at 1:33 PM

    Enough with this guy already. He’s a bum and will always be a bum. He’s the Mark Sanchez of the nhl, has the tolls and not the brains. He’ll score you 4 goals and be read possible for 11 goals allowed. Enough with the, “maybe in the right system”… He was in a decisive system with tortorella and everyone said vineault’s offensive style will help him, that didn’t worth so maybe a change is scenery on Nashville will help, two weeks in he’s a healthy scratch. He’s been in the eagle 5 years now, what you see is what you get, and what you get is a good AHLer and a terrible NHLer.

    • wutangwild - Jul 19, 2014 at 2:29 PM

      I hope those typos are due to auto-correct…

      • c1md6 - Jul 19, 2014 at 3:21 PM

        Haha yeah I realized as soon as I hit send…I wish PHT had an edit option…

  2. 34defense2014 - Jul 19, 2014 at 1:48 PM

    c1md6 WHAT??!!! No!!!! Enough of Barry the loser Trotz!!!!

  3. sjrulz17 - Jul 19, 2014 at 1:54 PM

    Sharks need to make a move on this guy.

  4. avscup - Jul 19, 2014 at 2:53 PM

    Offensive skill with terrible defensive skillis as useful as lug nuts on a wedding cake in today’s NHL.

  5. 34defense2014 - Jul 19, 2014 at 4:00 PM

    lol roger that c1md6!! lol

  6. bleedrangerblue - Jul 19, 2014 at 4:21 PM

    Always a fan of MDZ. Come back to broadway.

    • c1md6 - Jul 19, 2014 at 4:37 PM

      You’re kidding right? He was a skating minus, everyone talks about how sather fleeced Montreal in the McDonough deal, well Nashville totally got screwed losing Klein for a guy who was a healthy scratch half the year. The only regret Ranger fans should have is the fact they didn’t trade him when his value was much higher a few years ago, before he was exposed as a constant liability on the ice.

      • stakex - Jul 19, 2014 at 10:43 PM

        A skating minus? He’s only a career -8, and is just two seasons removed from finishing as a +20 (he was a +6 in the short 2013 season as well). His possession stats also aren’t that terrible for a guy constantly considered a liability on the ice. Its just that he makes occasional horrendous plays with the puck and on defense, which were magnified playing in NY.

  7. truthseeker25 - Jul 19, 2014 at 7:59 PM

    In the 2011 – 2012 season he was being considered for inclusion for the All Star game. At the All Star break he had the highest plus minus (over 20) on the Rangers. In fact the only Defensemen in the league with higher plus minus at the break were playing for the Bruins.

    The statistics for the Rangers on the power play were awful when he was not in the lineup. Overall they were 5th when Del Zotto was traded and 13th by the end of the season. During the ten games he sat the power play efficiency dropped by over 50%.

    The Rangers struggled throughout the playoffs on the power play and a better power play could have easily allowed the team to win series in a shorter frame of time. Their power play was abominable scoring only twice in the Finals. Klein on the other hand was too slow against the Kings. Nashville fans warned us about his lack of speed.

    Bring Del Zotto back and stop screwing with him already.

  8. chuchie414 - Jul 19, 2014 at 8:00 PM

    Winnipeg?

  9. c1md6 - Jul 19, 2014 at 9:11 PM

    @thruthseeker
    Those were some pretty selective stats, you act as if the power play was a juggernaut in the 2013 playoffs with Delzotto out there. Here’s some facts, pre delzotto trade the rangers were 25-26 he was a -6 and the rangers were averaging 2.81 goals per game, post trade they finished 18-12 averaging only 2.1 goals per game and Kevin Klein finished a +5. Statistically the power play was better this year as it was an 18.1% success vs 2013 when it was in the bottom half of the league at 15.1%, hard to believe since we has such a great power play force in Delzotto for all of 2013. Also, since you think that he would’ve been the savior of the playoffs this year, in 2013 he was the ONLY defenseman to finish in the minus (-3) and scored just 1 goal (0 on the power play). hell, Steve Emminger even finished a +1. Only 1 goal, I thought his offense was his upside? This year Klein finished the playoffs with 1 goal 3a and a +7 on defense. Like I said before, he’s got the tools just not the brains, and if there’s a position in hockey that you must have brains it’s defense. Maybe he should attempt to convert to a forward because he’s way too much of a liability on defense, and he’s AHL bound or healthy scratch heaven.

  10. DED - Jul 20, 2014 at 6:33 PM

    “I’m just waiting for the right opportunity to prove myself again,” Del Zotto says, “and prove everybody who’s doubted me wrong.”

    I’d love to see it happen for his sake, but I’m not optimistic that’ll happen.

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