By: Michael Abitabilo
Yesterday, the New York Rangers announced they have traded defenseman Michael Del Zotto to the Nashville Predators in exchange for defenseman Kevin Klein.
Following last year’s five game series loss to the Boston Bruins, the Read Zone published a piece entitled “Five Off-Season Predictions for the New York Rangers.” I was later forced to eat crow when none of those (well-reasoned) predictions came true. Finally, though, nearly eight months later, I have been (20%) redeemed.
Here is some of what I wrote back in May regarding Del Zotto:
It would appear Del Zotto has become somewhat expendable following the emergence of John Moore, who was brought over in the trade that sent Marian Gaborik to the Columbus Blue Jackets.
There does not appear to be room on the roster for both Moore and Del Zotto in the long term. Along with Ryan McDonagh and Marc Staal, they are two of the Rangers’ four left-handed defensemen. Ideally, teams like their top six defensemen to comprise of three left-handers and three right-handers.
Look for the Rangers to move Del Zotto in exchange for a veteran defenseman with size and grit – something the Rangers have been missing for several years now.
While it took longer than I expected for the Rangers to come to this realization, Rangers President Glenn Sather largely echoed my previous sentiments when discussing the trade yesterday:
“Michael wasn’t comfortable on the right side. We had to move John Moore there. Johnny Moore is better on the left side, so we just thought for our overall team this would be a better fit for us.”
Rick Carpiniello of the Journal News described Klein as “a 6-1, 200-pound stay-at-home type with a bit of grit in his game” and the New York Daily News and New York Post also helped provide the validation we so desperately crave.
It remains to be seen whether the Del Zotto for Klein trade will have a significant impact on the Rangers this year. But for one day, at least, the Read Zone has become the Redemption Zone.
* * *
Mike Abitabilo is the co-founder of the Read Zone, and, at this rate, should be best friends with Henrik Lundqvist within three years.