2012 Free Agency: New York Rangers Qualify Del Zotto, Stralman, And Zuccarello

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 12: Michael Del Zotto #4 of the New York Rangers celebrates with his teammates on the bench in the third period after he scored a goal against the Washington Capitals in Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden on May 12, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)

Note: Sorry for the confusion everyone, there was apparently some miscommunication between the Rangers and its beat writers. The Rangers have in fact, qualified Anton Stralman which allows the Rangers to maintain his rights, and prevent him from going UFA.

Today marked the final day in which teams could send out qualifying offers, and the New York Rangers have sent out qualifying offers to Michael Del Zotto, Anton Stralman, and Mats Zuccarello. Del Zotto is coming off his three-year entry level contract, which had an annual cap hit of $1.08 million. Del Zotto broke out this season, coming away with career numbers in goals (10), assists (31), and points (41). Del Zotto is a vital part of the Rangers defense corp. and it was almost a given that they would bring him back.

As for Stralman, there was some uncertainty whether or not he would return with the Rangers. Following the Rangers elimination from the playoffs, Stralman was torn between bringing his family back to Sweden, where they preferred, or stay in New York. Now that the Rangers have qualified him, it appears that they still have him in their future plans, in the event that he returns.

For Zuccarello, even though he has run off the KHL, the Rangers can still qualify him, if he returns to the NHL. By doing so, the Rangers are able to retain his rights rather than have him become an unrestricted free agent.

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