Rangers can’t find a taker for Del Zotto
Whether this was the intention or not, the fact of the matter is Michael Del Zotto has become the Rangers’ whipping boy.
For the eighth time this season and the seventh time in the previous 22 games, Del Zotto was made a healthy scratch for Tuesday’s 2-1 shootout win over the Panthers at the BB&T Center. The former wunderkind defenseman has spoiled under new coach Alain Vigneault, and his future with the franchise has never looked more unstable.
“In the last two games, Michael was just jittery with the puck, where it caused some turnovers and led to quite a few scoring opportunities for the other team,” Vigneault said before the game, having played Del Zotto in the past 10 straight, five of which he played more than 20 minutes, including Friday’s 3-2 loss to the Capitals in Washington when Del Zotto stepped up for the injured Anton Stralman and played a season-high 24:37.
It’s no secret general manager Glen Sather has been shopping Del Zotto for a trade, but he was yet to have a buyer for the 23-year-old carrying a $2.55 million salary-cap hit for this season and who is set to be a restricted free agent after this season.