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5 Reasons Why The New York Rangers Should Trade Michael Del Zotto

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5 Reasons Why The New York Rangers Should Trade Michael Del Zotto

5 Reasons Why The New York Rangers Should Trade Michael Del Zotto
John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

New York Rangers defenseman Michael Del Zotto has developed a love/hate relationship with the fans and coaches, mostly hate especially as of late.

The potential for Del Zotto has always been there since the Rangers drafted him with the 20th overall pick in the first round of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. In 2009, he made his NHL debut on opening day for the Rangers and at 19 years of age, became the youngest defenseman to start on opening day for the Rangers in their franchise history. He impressed that preseason to make the team and then impressed even more when he scored a goal in the Rangers' home opener of that year. Immediately the comparisons to Brian Leetch started with Del Zotto and it certainly looked as if the sky was the limit for this kid. Unfortunately this would not be the case.

Since his rookie season, like Mark Sanchez of the New York Jets, he has regressed every single season, to the point of being a healthy scratch and even sent down the the AHL in his second year in the league. Del Zotto has failed to perform like the way he did in his rookie season back in 2009, and with his hockey IQ being no higher than an inexperienced rookie, the impatience of the fans, and even new head coach Alain Vigneault, is wearing very thin.

Supposedly there are five to six teams interested in Del Zotto at the moment and after his last start where he pinched in at the wrong time and led to a goal for the opposition, the Rangers need to trade him before everyone becomes disinterested. And if you are still not convinced on why the Rangers should trade Del Zotto, here are five reasons why the Rangers should trade him sooner rather than later.

Steven Carollo is a New York Rangers’ and sports writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter, add him on Facebook, connect with him on LinkedIn and join his Google network.

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5. Offensive Potential Is Just Potential

Offensive Potential Is Just Potential
Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Del Zotto has never been known to be a defensive defenseman so it is critical for him to produce offensively, which he has not even remotely done this past few seasons.

So far this season, through 17 games Del Zotto has recorded a total of four points, one goal and three assists. Not quite an offensive juggernaut to say the least. The offensive potential that Del Zotto has is only potential and has not been a reality for some time now.

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4. Need An Offensive Forward

Offensive Forward
Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

The Rangers are a team that struggles a lot to score goals. I guess it had nothing to due with the offensive system after all.

Obviously the Rangers do not have the players, outside of Rick Nash, to score goals on a consistent basis. Since Del Zotto is not even close to being this guy, the Rangers need to make a deal in order to acquire one. Like I said before, supposedly there are five to six teams that want to take a chance on a Del Zotto, and obviously need defenseman, and if any of them are willing to give up a second line scoring forward for him, the Rangers should jump at that deal in a heartbeat since a forward who can put the puck in the net is greatly needed over Del Zotto at this point for the Rangers.

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3. Is A Turnover Machine

Is A Turnover Machine
Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

We Rangers' fans and the coaching staff know that Del Zotto would be somewhat tolerable if he did not turn the puck over so frequently in the defensive zone.

It is unbelievable on a game-to-game basis just how many times he turns the puck over and gives the opposition a prime scoring chance. Once again, I will make the comparison to Sanchez as he interception numbers increased as he regressed every year and the same can be said for Del Zotto and his defensive zone turnovers.

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2. Salary Cap Reasons

Salary Cap Reasons
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Del Zotto makes $2.55 million per season.

Do I have to continue to explain myself?

For a supposedly offensive defenseman to have four points through 17 games and turn the puck over on a regular basis in a salary-cap league, for him to make $2.55 million per year is just unacceptable. The Rangers must move Del Zotto for salary cap reasons among others.

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1. Defensive Liability

Defensive Liability
Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The No. 1 reason why the Rangers should trade Del Zotto is that he is a defensive liability.

The name defense is in his position yet he ignores every aspect of it. I understand that he is more known for his offense but when you are struggling on the offensive side of your game, you have to up the intensity and effort on the defensive side, which Del Zotto has not been doing.

Besides turning the puck over, Del Zotto constantly screws up defensive assignments and just cannot cover virtually any power forward in this league. Del Zotto criticized Vigneault for limiting his minutes but when you can't do anything right defensively, how is he supposed to keep sending you back out there.

For a team that struggles to score goals, defense is important and the last thing you want is to have one of your defenseman be a defensive liability out there, which is exactly what Del Zotto is at this point.

Related Links:

New York Rangers: Potential Trade Targets for Michael Del Zotto

New York Rangers Coach Alain Vigneault Takes Shot at Michael Del Zotto

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