Much of the talk to this point in the summer, as far as young, restricted free agent defensemen go, has focused on Montreal Canadiens blue liner, P.K. Subban.
While he’s obviously the bigger name and will likely get a hefty deal from the Habs, even if it’s only for a few years, New York Rangers defenseman Michael Del Zotto is also a restricted free agent looking for a new deal from his club.
So far, the Rangers have been dragging their feet in trying to re-sign him. They’d like to keep the amount well under $3 million, on a reasonable term, no more than a few years.
Del Zotto had something of a breakout year for the Blueshirts, with over 40 points on the year and a plus-20. He also notched over 150 hits and blocked nearly 100 shots. So how is it that this guy doesn’t have a new deal yet?
The most likely reason that no one has reached out with an offer sheet for Del Zotto is the fact that New York is very likely going to match any offer. For the salary Del Zotto is likely going to get, whether it’s from the Rangers or another team, the compensation would only be one draft pick, and not even in the first round.
No matter what you might think of Del Zotto, surrendering a blue liner with that much potential for nothing more than what’s likely a second round pick wouldn’t sit too well with fans, nor be the best decision overall.
Besides, there aren’t too many teams that are willing to offer sheet to begin with. We know the Philadelphia Flyers are, but as a division rival, you know the Rangers are absolutely going to match, regardless of the offer. They’re more likely to go the Subban route, if they want to break out the offer sheet again.
In the end, Michael Del Zotto is going to get his new deal. I’d expect four years or less, likely between $2.5 and $3 million. The Rangers have the money to spend and a deal like that is very reasonable for him.