For the past week or so, trade rumors of the New York Rangers shopping defenseman Michael Del Zotto have been filling up peoples’ twitter feeds everywhere. It is evident that Del Zotto is struggling under new head coach Alain Vigneault‘s system and is just not getting any better since the John Tortorella days. However, with that being said, I think there is more of a chance of defenseman Dan Girardi leaving the Rangers before Del Zotto does.
While all of the focus has been put on Del Zotto and his struggles the past couple of years, Girardi has quietly had just as many struggles as Del Zotto since last season. Not only that, but Girardi is 29 years of age compared to Del Zotto being 23, makes more money at $3.325 million compared to Del Zotto’s $2.55 million, is an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season, and is just more valuable overall.
In the up-tempo offense NHL teams use nowadays, a lot of teams around the league are looking for defense. And since Del Zotto is an offensive defenseman and a defensive liability, many teams will consider Girardi to be a more valuable asset meaning the Rangers would get more in return by trading Girardi over Del Zotto.
Now Del Zotto is a restricted free agent at the end of this season which could bode well for teams interested in keeping him for more than just a rental, but since the Rangers want to add more scoring I honestly doubt with Del Zotto’s magnified inefficiencies that he alone would bring in the type of player the Rangers are seeking.
This all leads me to believe that Girardi will actually be the player leaving the Rangers before Del Zotto. I think the Rangers will be looking for too much in return for Del Zotto that no team is willing to give them, and it won’t be until Girardi is moved that they would get something substantial in return.