Over at ESPN Insider (via Spector's Hockey), Victoria Matiash suggests that the hiring of Alain Vigneault could be bad news for Michael Del Zotto as the Rangers new head coach is wary of relying too heavily on his defensively weaker young players.
Matiash adds that given the Rangers blueline depth, Del Zotto could see a reduction in his playing time under Vigneault.
Spector's Hockey takes it a step further saying that if this scenario plays out, Del Zotto could be the subject of trade speculation near the March trade deadline.
…i've said it over again on this blog, Del Zotto has the physical tools to be the Rangers power play quarterback for the next 10 years. Unfortunately, the problem with him is between the ears. He has absolutely no hockey sense. Not sure if it was Torts' system that confused him or just an overall lack of knowledge of the finer points of the game. If it's the latter, I have no idea how he's made it this far.
…and what's worse is that he's not providing enough offensively to offset his defensive deficiencies. As evidenced by his ZERO power play goals last season (just three overall).
…the only real strategy AV can take with Del Zotto is to try and simplify things for him in the defensive end. Give Del Zotto a remedial understanding of what he wants and pray it's enough. At the same time, hopefully AV's power play knowledge will kick start him offensively. If not, I don't see how the Rangers don't try and move him at the deadline as Spector suggests.