It was just a rainy Saturday practice at the Rangers’ Westchester training center, but when Michael Del Zotto turned the puck over during a drill, he whipped around and shattered his stick over the side boards, tossing its remnants onto the empty bench. He found another stick, slowly skated back out and took a knee, leaning heavily and looking downtrodden. It has been a tough go for Del Zotto this season, and though his teammates basked in the light of a 7-2-1 run that finally has begun to push their season forward, the 23-year-old defenseman still remains a fringe player, one who straddles the line between getting a jersey and getting a seat in the press box on a daily basis, and whose name is now mentioned more in trade rumors than it is in the context of his play. “I’ve dealt with [trade talk] for five years here in New York,” Del Zotto told The Post after practice, his team readying for the Flyers coming into the Garden for a Sunday night showdown. “It has no effect on me at all. I’ve dealt with it and it’s out of my control. I come to the rink every day and work hard, and that’s all I can control.” After being a healthy scratch for two games in a row, Dec. 31 in Florida and Jan. 3 in Pittsburgh, Del Zotto got into the lineup again on Jan. 4 in Toronto, where his agents attended the game and had a brief talk with general manager Glen Sather. Because his representation is based out of Toronto, Del Zotto said their attendance wasn’t anything unusual, but this “meeting” was not a big event.
Rangers’ Del Zotto trying hard to show his stuff
New York Post | Jan 12