Last night, Michael Del Zotto made his Nashville Predators debut in, where else, Vancouver against the John Tortorella-less Canucks. The Predators won the game 2-1.
Del Zotto played just 13:15 and didn't see a shift on the power play. Del Zotto chipped in with two blocked shots and one shot on goal while playing alongside rookie phenom Seth Jones.
Josh Cooper at The Tennessean noted that Del Zotto played a mostly mistake free game.
Here's Nashville coach Barry Trotz on Del Zotto's first game with the Predators (via The Tennessean)…
“I liked a lot of things he did. He had good compete for me, his puck management was really good. Especially since he hadn’t played with us. I was really happy with his effort.”
Del Zotto said this about his debut…
“Getting a win in the first game with a new team feels great. They put me in positions I could play, and I felt great tonight.”
…i can't emphasize this enough. There is a good chance that Del Zotto could figure it out in Nashville. He'll be learning under one of the best offensive defenseman in the league in Shea Weber while being paired with a dynamic young blueliner. But Rangers fans need to keep in mind that he was never going to figure it out in New York. He knew the organization lost confidence in him which made him lose confidence in himself.
…it's always been mental for Del Zotto. Now that he'll actually be getting a "clean slate" with a new organization, he'll likely be able to relax while playing in an almost stress free environment with low expectations. Listen, it could be a lot worse. Imagine if he went to an Eastern Conference team and figured it out? That would have been a nightmare scenario.
There's also been a lot of debate on whether Kevin Klein was enough value in return for Del Zotto. My personal opinion is that it was. Especially after seeing how other teams were so hesitant to give up assets for Del Zotto.
According to Darren Dreger at TSN, the Leafs had interest in Del Zotto and there were some talks with the Rangers regarding a trade including Jake Gardiner but the Rangers wanted Cody Franson. Dreger added that the Leafs were ultimately scared away by Del Zotto's inconsistency.
Finally, Bruce Garrioch at the Ottawa Sun notes that the Senators held several discussions with the Rangers about Del Zotto but a trade was never realistic because the asking price was D Marc Methot and another prospect in Binghamton. Methot has been a healthy scratch for Ottawa the last two games.
…welp, as you can see there wasn't much of a market for Del Zotto. Sather couldn't get a first round pick nor young defensemen with potential. Hell, Sather couldn't pry a guy who's been a healthy scratch for Del Zotto's services.
…i think Sather ended making what was likely the best deal on the table and even if Klein doesn't succeed in New York, I think the Rangers did well if for no other reason than it was addition by subtraction.