Since nothing is going much of anywhere in regard to the CBA talks right now, Ranger fans everywhere have found a new target of discussion to yammer about as of late: Michael Del Zotto.
The 22-year-old restricted free agent defenseman is still without a contract on September 11 -- ten days away from the scheduled start of training camp, which we know more than likely will be delayed -- yet he has shown little to no intentions of lowering his demands for a new deal. Those demands we do not know since they have not been disclosed to the public, but what we do know, and have known for a while now, is that GM Glen Sather and the Rangers camp have put a three-year/$7.5 million deal on the table for what they claim is their final offer.
Think about that for a moment: Three years for a rather young, but inconsistent defenseman at $2.5 million per season on a Stanley Cup contending club. In Del Zotto's eyes, he should be honored by what's being thrown his way. This should appeal to him as gold simply being handed to him on a sterling silver platter. It's a fantastic deal.
However, Del Zotto and his agent do not seem to think so, as they want more money and a lengthier contract. To which I would suggest the oh-so-strong possibility that Mr. Del Zotto just may be overvaluing himself here.
Yes, I am more than aware that Michael had an improved offensive season in 2011-12 that showed promise for his future moving forward. By the same token--and I think I speak on behalf of most Ranger fans when I say this--I also repeatedly watched Del Zotto commit the same defensive errors that landed him in the American Hockey League two years ago. The team is in need of some offensive production stemming from the back end, and I'm not arguing against that, but they need a player that can balance those contributions on offense with the same level, if not greater, of skill in the back end. Del Zotto, sadly, is not that player, at least not yet.
So taking all of that into consideration, yeah, that three-year/$7.5 million deal is quite appealing for what a Del Zotto-type player brings to a team, let alone a Stanley Cup contending team with or without that player. Because let's be honest, do you think the Rangers wouldn't have made it to the Conference Finals without Del Zotto in their lineup?
But as long as Del Zotto continues to overvalue himself, the Blueshirts are best off just leaving him to sit and ponder just why they are not meeting his demands for more money and additional years.
Maybe after another few weeks or so of that, he will finally "come to his senses."
EMINGER POST-SIGNING INTERVIEW
The entire staff here at The Rangers Tribune would like to take this time to remember all of those who lost their lives in the tragic attacks of September 11, 2001.
Now, to continue the respect that those who passed had for our country, the very least we all can do is to go out and vote during the upcoming presidential election. I mean, it's not like you'll be missing any hockey games in doing so (I know, that one stung a little).