As the NHL trade deadline continues to approach more and more names are being tossed around the rumor mill. Recently it was suggested that Michael Del Zotto would be part of the package that Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson would be looking to get in return for Rick Nash.
Forget about the Nash trade however, let's just focus on the deadline itself. If the New York Rangers are going to try and make a splash -- and as of right now there hasn't been any evidence to suggest otherwise, in fact the evidence we have right now points towards Glen Sather actually wanting to make a big move -- then Del Zotto might be part of that package.
But would that be a tremendous mistake? Join me after the jump for more.
Del Zotto had two assists in the Rangers' 3-2 overtime victory over the Blue Jackets Sunday night, including the primary assist on Derek Stepan's game winning goal. The play to win the game was beautiful, especially Del Zotto's role. After driving to the net Del Zotto threw the puck behind him to Marian Gaborik, who faked a shot and made a hard pass to Del Zotto. Gaborik's pass was off the mark, and forced Del Zotto to take it on his backhand to gather it in. But instead of panicking, Del Zotto hesitated just long enough to draw Steve Mason and two Blue Jackets' defenders and made a perfect pass through traffic to Stepan, who buried the puck.
The goal was a perfect example of the transformation Del Zotto has gone through this season. In 57 games he already has seven goals and 25 assists for 32 points, just five points shy of his career high, which he set his rookie year.
Zel Dotto has become a vital cog in the Rangers' machine this year. His ability to move the puck has allowed the Rangers to create offense from anywhere on the ice, and the teams transition from defense to offense has been a strength all season long.
There is talk that the Rangers have a player like Del Zotto in the minors (Tim Erixon) but how bad can it be to have two puck moving defenseman? Especially if Del Zotto continues to grow defensivley.