Found July 07, 2014 on The Detroit Sports Site:
Ottawa_senators_v_3c82
Michel Del Zotto isn’t attracting a ton of attention, but could the Red Wings take a chance? (Derrick Bostrom, Flickr) Over time, the Detroit Red Wings have been known as a team where unwanted players can go to get reborn. Recently, the likes of Dallas Drake, Dan Cleary, Darren McCarty and Brad Stuart have come out of the woodwork and put past issues behind them to plat a major role on successful editions of the team. Considering the Red Wings were embarrassingly shut out in free agency last week, the time might be right to undertake yet another reclamation project, this one on defense. Though he’s not currently an elite option, nor does he have the experience of a Derek Morris or Ed Jovanovski, Michael Del Zotto might have the most natural untapped talent of anyone remaining, adding some definite intrigue to his name. Originally drafted by the New York Rangers in 2008, Del Zotto won NHL’s rookie of the month award immediately in October 2009 at age 19. Despite showing signs of an elite offensive game, however, Del Zotto failed to showcase his early flash consistently, and was sent back to the minors in 2010. After struggling throughout the last three seasons in New York since, Del Zotto was traded last January to the Nashville Predators, and didn’t do himself any favors there. Now, considering he’s been given up on by two franchises and three different coaches, Del Zotto will enter his next destination at his lowest point. A qualifying offer was not picked up by the Predators and new coach Peter Laviolette, meaning Del Zotto is free to test what’s proven to be a good market for defenders. Enter the Red Wings. Though Del Zotto is a left-handed shot, could his name be one that comes up as Detroit searches for some summer value? According to Jimmy Murphy of XNsports, the Red Wings might make some sense as a destination. There’s been nothing else definitive officially linking the parties together, but the subtle whisper should have been good enough to get plenty thinking. As Larry Brooks of the New York Post pointed out, Del Zotto’s problem hasn’t necessarily been a lack of talent, but proper temperament. Many, including Brooks, contend he’s seen as a hard player to coach. At 24, however, he is still plenty young enough to get a third chance from somebody, especially this offseason, when a run on defense came early and often during the opening hours of free agency. Given the Red Wings’ situation, Detroit could be that place. Ken Holland, though still feeling the heat after striking out, probably doesn’t want to give up any precious assets for Tyler Myers, Keith Yandle or Dustin Byfuglien. He also probably doesn’t want to give an aging Morris or Jovanovski a major role. Considering this, he could offer Del Zotto a chance to connect with the also notoriously difficult Mike Babcock on an incentive-laden deal and see if magic happened. If Del Zotto is motivated and the right buttons are pushed, he could earn a spot and perhaps work his way up Detroit’s pairing sheet. If not, Detroit would still get a chance to let their youth step in rather quick, which is likely what Holland wants now anyway. Signing the maligned Del Zotto as a free agent wouldn’t win Holland any summer awards, but if successful, it could turn out to be a move that proves Detroit’s general manager still has a bit of savvy left later on. The risk would be low, but the potential for reward would certainly be high. As a scrap heap signing after the initial July frenzy goes, the Red Wings could probably do much worse than inking Del Zotto to a deal. It’s the situation Detroit’s currently in, seeing as nobody can make the argument that the defense is better off or improved as constructed without him. Max DeMara is a senior editor at The Detroit Sports Site. You can find him on Twitter @SportsGuyTheMax
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Grading the Detroit Red Wings free agency, opening week

The first week of the NHL free agency period is nearly complete, here’s a glimpse at how the Detroit Red Wings fared. Re-signed Kyle Quincey (Defenseman): $8.5 million over two years Riley Sheahan (Forward): $1.9 million over two years Signed Kevin Porter (Forward): One year on a two-way contract Left David Legwand (Forward) to the Ottawa Senators, $6 million over two years...

Red Wings morning news: on Athanasiou, ‘shopping around’ and trade talk

The Red Wings' summer development camp continues with its second and last day of dedicated skill development practices starting at 9 AM today at Centre Ice Arena, and the camp will wrap up with an 11 AM scrimmage on Tuesday. I focused on "Team Yzerman" during yesterday's drills, and today, I'll be watching "Team Lidstrom," who are undoubtedly led...

Report: Red Wings interested in Tyler Myers

The Red Wings are looking for help on defense and that may come through Buffalo’s Tyler Myers. The Detroit Free Press reports that the club has been looking at Myers in an effort to solidify a defensive group which desperately needs some help. It was believed that the Red Wings were going to make a play for Dan Boyle, but he ended up signing with the New York Rangers. In her report...

Prospect Report: Anthony Mantha

Anthony Mantha took the QMJHL by storm last year, and will be given an opportunity to prove he can do so in the NHL, too, this fall. "Anthony's definitely going to get a great opportunity coming into the camp," said Jiri Fischer, the Detroit Red Wings' Director of Player Development. "He's going to be put in a situation where he can make the team. It'...

Prospect Report: Dylan Larkin

Just one week after Dylan Larkin was drafted 15th overall by the Red Wings, Jiri Fischer, Detroit's Director of Player Development, watched Larkin compete against the organization's top prospects and invitees at development camp. And he liked what he saw. "With Dylan, it's his tenaciousness, it's his competitiveness, it's his skating ability to cut to the...

Red Wings summer development camp 2014, day 5: Interviewing De Haas/McKee, Turgeon Clarke & Blashill

The Red Wings' prospects wrapped up their summer development camp with a scrimmage on Tuesday, and Team Yzerman took a 5-1 decision over Team Lidstrom, with Mike McKee (1 goal) and James De Haas (1 goal, 1 assist) stealing some of the thunder from a dominant Kyle Baun-Dylan Larkin (2 assists)-Anthony Mantha (1 assist, credited for McKee's goal for some reason) line. Tyler...

Red Wings summer development camp 2014, day 3: interviews with Vahatalo, Nastasiuk, Blashill & more

Aside from Richard Nedomlel, who was out with an undisclosed and very minor injury, all of the prospects who took part in yesterday's scrimmage skated in today's team practices and skill drills at the Red Wings' summer development camp, and Alexey Marchenko took more than a few turns prior to the main practice, skating on his own, speaking with the medical staff a few...

Moment of truth for the unemployed Michael Del Zotto

If this doesn’t represent a wake-up call for Michael Del Zotto, 24 and unemployed, then nothing will. For this isn’t Del Zotto being sent to the AHL midway through his second NHL (and pro) season by the Rangers and John Tortorella, or Del Zotto being scratched nine times by Alain Vigneault, or Del Zotto being kept out of the lineup in Nashville by Barry Trotz, or even David...

Red Wings targeting Mike Green for trade?

Now a week removed from the start of NHL free agency, the Detroit Red Wings still have yet to find their coveted right-handed defenseman. (They also have yet to sign any new players to the roster, unless you count likely AHLer Kevin Porter.) All signs continue to point toward Detroit GM Ken Holland chasing a trade, if he plans to do anything at all. On Monday, the Detroit Free Press’...

Red Wings continue to explore trade options for Buffalo’s Tyler Myers

After being unable to come to terms with any free agent defenseman thus far, Ken Holland and the Detroit Red Wings continue to look at trade options, specifically surrounding Buffalo’s Tyler Myers. According to Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press, the Wings continue to look at scenarios when it comes to the big, young Sabres blue liner who signed a large seven-year, $38...

Red Wings development camp 2014, day 5: outside takes

The last entry that I posted, my wrap-up of the Red Wings' summer development camp, is the first entry in which I've officially maxed out the blog's content-or-character count on writing--ever. We've had our "new software" for over two years now, but that's the first time I've "broken the blog" based upon nothing but writing. That's...

A significant point of clarification

Regarding the Red Wings' summer development camp and its lack of returning Griffins/Walleye players: The Red Wings' PR department wants me to let you know that there wasn't an "opt-out" option for Griffins--the Wings' coaches and management chose to bring the roster here that they brought here, and in the specific case of Martin Frk, the Wings were going...

Red Wings summer development camp 2014, day 5: a long five days, short version

Now that the players have packed up their gear and engaged in a final yoga class, probably before either heading to their hotels or to the airport, I look back at days one, two, three, four and now five of the Red Wings' summer development camp, I can say, without a doubt, that it was a great experience and a lot of fun for the players... And for me, this was a *#$%@& grind...

Red Wings summer development camp 2014, day 3: a tale of skill development drills

The Red Wings' truncated summer camp schedule took a turn for the..."I guess we'll have to wait and see what the prospects and team thinks" today, and its schedule will continue (prior tomorrow's in-person training camp ticket sale at noon) as follows... July 7 8:45 am – 9:30 am Team Yzerman off ice work out 9:00 am – 9:45 am Team Lidstrom practice...

Legwand sees himself as Ottawa’s second line center

When David Legwand signed with the Ottawa Senators it was the classic case of a team filling a desperate need. Now Legwand hopes he can help help fill some big shoes. Legwand spoke with Chris Lund of the Senators website and outlined what he thinks he can do for Ottawa. “I think I can take up the second line center spot and play good minutes for the team and help out in all areas...
NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.