It doesn't seem like the New York Rangers and defenseman Michael Del Zotto are nearing an agreement anytime soon.
The latest news coming from Larry Brooks of the New York Post is that the Rangers are believed to be offering Del Zotto a multi-year deal worth $2,200,000-$2,500,000 per season, far off from what Del Zotto wants.
The 22-year old is coming off a career season in which he put up 41 points in 77 games.
Firing 113 shots on net, the Stouffville, ON native recorded a career-high 10 goals this past season, 1 better than his previous best of 9 in which he set in his rookie season, 2009-10.
Along with the 10 goals, came 31 assists, the most helpers he's recorded in his first 3 NHL seasons. Using his great playmaking abilities, Del Zotto became one of the Rangers' best passers this year, setting up multiple scoring opportunities every game with his great passing skills.
Not only was he great offensively, Del Zotto played very well in his own end as well, blocking a total of 95 shots over the course of the regular season.
Del Zotto would sacrifice his body whenever he could to keep shots from hitting the net. Despite suffering many bruises from the shots he blocked, Del Zotto would always continue to play, even if it meant playing the rest of the game hurt.
Along with all that, the former #20 overall draft pick of the 2008 NHL Draft always through his body around. Over the course of this past season, Del Zotto compiled a total of 156 hits, averaging just over 2 hits per game.
His strong play at both ends of the rink resulted in a very impressive +20 rating, which was more than deserved because of his strong play.
In just his first 3 seasons, Del Zotto has already grown into one of the best premier young players in the game today with his solid play.
If he wanted to, Del Zotto could easily ask for $3,500,000-$4,000,000 without question. The problem though, is that the Rangers wouldn't feel all that comfortable making him the highest paid defenseman on the team ahead of Marc Staal, who is currently making $3,975,000 per year on his current deal.
With the current collective bargaining agreement expiring September 15th as well, the Rangers would be very hesitant to offer that amount of money to Del Zotto due to the uncertainty of what the new CBA will/should have to offer when it comes to the salary cap.
Nonetheless, a deal will get done to keep Del Zotto a New York Ranger for at least the next couple of seasons. He isn't going anywhere!
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