The New York Rangers made a key signing before training camp started Sunday morning, agreeing to terms with restricted free agent defenseman Michael Del Zotto. The young 22 year old defenseman agreed to a two year deal worth $2.55 million per season, according to ESPN New York.
Del Zotto proved to be a key piece on the Rangers defensive corps last season, not only defensively, but offensively. New York’s first round pick from the 2008 NHL entry draft totaled career highs with ten goals and 31 assists. He also registered 36 penalty minutes to go with outstanding plus twenty when on the ice. Del Zotto showed his commitment to defense like no other, blocking 95 shots in the Rangers highly defensive system.
He also contributed in the playoffs last season, helping the Rangers reach the Eastern Conference semifinals. Del Zotto appeared in all 20 of the Rangers postseason games, totaling two goals and eight assists.
The Rangers also welcomed back Matt Gilroy to the team, signing the 28 year old defenseman to a reported one year deal, worth $650,000 according to Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News.
Gilory has been playing for the Connecticut Whale this winter during the NHL lockout, and will add depth to an already loaded Rangers’ blue line. He played for the Rangers for two seasons, and added a goal in the Rangers 2011 playoff series against the Washington Capitals.
Del Zotto and Gilroy join a defense already composed of Marc Staal, Dan Girardi, Anton Stralman and Ryan McDonagh.