Sunday, December 19, 2010

Rumor: Blue Jackets Inquired About Michael Del Zotto

Chris McGrath/Getty Images
Early last week following the Columbus Blue Jackets game there was a rumor, which I originally came across in Larry Brooks column in the New York Post, that discussed the New York Rangers potentially being interested in bringing back Fedor Tyutin.  Tyutin whom the Rangers traded to the Blue Jackets 2 offseasons ago in a deal for Nik Zherdev has one more year on his current deal at 2.844 million.  I addressed the rumor of Tyutin possibly coming back, what I would be willing to give up and speculated that for Columbus the desire would be mainly for an offensive defender. 

Fast forward to this morning and Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal in his column, Matty’s Short Shifts said that the player that intrigues the Blue Jackets is in fact Michael Del Zotto and that they have inquired about his availability.  The full quote:
The word is the Columbus Blue Jackets, who badly need offensive blue-liners, inquired about former Rangers first-round draft D-man Michael Del Zotto. They might have been offering Fedor Tyutin back to New York, after they got Tyutin for Nikolai Zherdev. Del Zotto for a defensive blue-liner Tyutin probably wouldn't get it done. Now if they threw in Nikita Filatov, too?
As someone who has been as hard on Del Zotto as anyone with his struggles trading him is not something I advocate, and the only way you even consider it is for another elite prospect.  Obviously, as Matheson points out, Tyutin would not be enough to get a talent at the level of Del Zotto so he adds in the idea of Filatov to the mix.  Filatov, the number 6 selection in the 2008 draft, is certainly an intriguing talent that many teams would gladly take a chance on because of the potential upside.  Even with the potential upside I do not consider him worthy of thinking about dealing Del Zotto for other reasons.  As much as MDZ has struggled this season Filatov has not proven anything at the NHL level other than being worthy of the enigmatic label and was just sent back to the AHL to get his game together.  New York as we know all too well has attempted the talented Russian gambit before hoping they would find their potential here route before and we do not need to go there again.

If the Blue Jackets really want Del Zotto lets start talking names like Jakub Voracek or Derrick Brassard but obviously they do not want to give up those guys as they are trying to compete this season.  I do not see any way the Rangers should get involved in a move with Columbus involving MDZ without one of those names or Ryan Johansen because despite his struggles this season Del Zotto being only 20 years old and the offensive upside along with the premium on offensive defenders makes him of premium value.

For a look at the Columbus perspective check this out.