Rangers need to hold on to Del Zotto

We all know the Rangers are looking to add with the NHL trade deadline two weeks from today. General manager Glen Sather is in the market for a right-handed defenseman, the club would like to bulk up on the wing and sure would like to add some scoring punch to boot.

The problem, though, is the Rangers have a limited pool of quality players available for barter. Marian Gaborik is more a Blueshirt than a blue chip.

Derek Stepan, Ryan McDonagh and J.T. Miller are as untouchable now as they were at last year’s deadline, when the Blue Jackets tried to pry some combination of the above in exchange for Rick Nash, and whatever happened anyway to No. 61, anyway? Unless they’ve lost their minds in the executive offices of the Garden, Chris Kreider would also be off-limits.

Which leaves … well, it leaves Michael Del Zotto as the Blueshirts’ most marketable commodity. But even as the 22-year-old defenseman with the entirely reasonable cap hit of $2.55 million would likely be able to fetch an asset in return, it’s hard to believe the Rangers would come out ahead on such an addition/subtraction equation.

The Rangers are thin enough on the blue line; always, it seems, an injury away from disaster. Moreover, Del Zotto is the team’s greatest offensive weapon from the back end, able to skate the puck out of his own end, headman it from tape-to-tape and join the rush.


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