Del Zotto Not Expected To Sign Contract Prior To Lockout

If the Rangers and Michael Del Zotto want to get a contract signed under the current CBA then they’re going to have to get things moving quickly. The NHL locks out at midnight tonight, and according to ESPN’s Katie Strang, it appears that the a deal won’t be reached beforehand.

It’s a risk by both sides. It’s undetermined what the new CBA will look like and how it will change the status of contracts and/or what kind of extensions can be signed. Sather is reportedly offering Del Zotto a three-year deal worth somewhere between 2.5-2.8 million dollars annually. However, Del Zotto is looking to cash in for much more than that.

For what it’s worth, Capitals defenseman John Carlson, taken seven picks after Del Zotto in the 2008 NHL draft, just yesterday signed a five year deal with an annual cap hit of $3.97 million. It should be noted that Carlson is probably a better all around defenseman than Del Zotto and that the Capitals gave him a bit more money in order to sign him for five years and thus buy out some years of free agency. But still, if this is the market for a defenseman of that quality then I am not optimistic that Sather will get Del Zotto to accept any amount below $3 million annually. But as I said previously, the dynamics of a potential contract could completely change depending on what is included in the new CBA.