Michael Del Zotto is going to be a healthy scratch Saturday when the New York Rangers take on the Montreal Canadiens. This is the second time this year Del Zotto has been a healthy scratch. The first was in mid-October when the Rangers faced the New Jersey Devils. Now the next question is could this be the beginning of the end of Del Zotto’s tenure with the Rangers?
Everyone knows how high Del Zotto’s ceiling is. When his head is in it he can be a great offensive defenseman in the NHL, but inconsistency has absolutely killed his young career. His first year he burst onto the scene when he was only 18, and his second year he struggled so much that he was sent down to the AHL for the majority of the year. Then in his third year he was back to having a great year and making great plays with the puck. But in last year’s lockout shortened season and in the early goings this year he has just lost all confidence he had. He is lost sometimes in the defensive zone and can’t make a play. He has been taken off the first power play unit and will probably be taken off the second unit if he returns to the lineup anytime soon.
The Rangers are definitely trying to bolster their forwards. Alain Vigneault is looking for more speed and skill up front, and Del Zotto is one of the Rangers’ best trade assets mostly because of his age. Teams have seen him perform well and would definitely be willing to take a chance on him. Personally I think there is a very little chance that the Del Zotto finishes the season with the Rangers. He has been too inconsistent in his four plus years with the team, and I think a change in scenery would do him well.
For the foreseeable future it seems Del Zotto won’t be in the Rangers’ lineup. If the Rangers get a winning streak going the lineup will stay the same and Del Zotto will be on the outside looking in. The time is ticking on his stay in New York.