by Patrick Hoffman on 01/13/13 at 02:36 PM ET
Correction: Del Zotto's two-year deal is worth $5.1 million according to New York Daily News New York Rangers' beat writer Pat Leonard.
These are the exact words that can be used to describe New York Rangers' defenseman Michael Del Zotto's new two-year deal with the club.
There is no doubting Del Zotto's offensive skills. Last season, Del Zotto was fifth on the team in the regular season with 41 points (10 goals and 31 assists) while adding another 10 (2 goals and 8 assists) in 20 postseason games.
Del Zotto has a great shot, knows how to make solid outlet passes and is not afraid to the rush puck up the ice. The 22-year-old blueliner also has excellent vision and knows how to creat offense.
While all of that is great, it is his defensive game that still needs some work. For everry great pass Del Zotto made, there were also ones that were very dangerous and led to turnovers.
Del Zotto also had trouble getting back into the play when he did give up the puck and furthermore, was caught out of position many times last season. Again, he has a lot of geat offensive skills but defensively, Del Zotto is still a liability.
This is exactly why a two-year deal worth $2.5 million makes sense for all parties involved. For starters, the Blueshirts' organization that he brings a lot to the game offensively but at the same time, knows that he needs to work hard to improve on the other side of the puck.
When it comes to Del Zotto, it guarantees him another two years to get better and hopefully, prove to the team, its coaching staff and management that he could be worth it long-term one day. Del Zotto was also smart to just take the deal instead of dragging it out and makiing himsel look bad in the process.
We know that there a lot of fans that do not like Del Zotto and think he is useless. However, he is still young, still has a lot to learn and if patient, the team and its fans could end up being rewarded greatly for it.
It is time to give him a fair shot, just like the organization decided to do with this deal.
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
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