Monday, January 3, 2011

Rangers Send Michael Del Zotto Down, Bring Up Ryan McDonagh.

According the AHL transactions page the New York Rangers have send down second year defender down to the Connecticut Whale, which is not a huge surprise given the combination of his poor play and scratches in recent weeks.  Del Zotto returned to the lineup yesterday after missing the previous four games and was very shaky playing a combination of scared hockey and continuing to make many of the same mental mistakes that took him out of the lineup to begin with.  In 35 games this year, MDZ has struggled mightily, putting together a line of 2-7-9 and a -1 rating. The problem of late has been his offensive play as much as the defensive issues that plagued him last season.  Hopefully this move will be taken well by Del Zotto and his time away from coach Tortorella and with Wade Redden, who has been a great mentor for the other young defenders, will get his game back on track

What is more of a surprise though is that the move comes with an accompanying call up of rookie defender Ryan McDonagh.  McDonagh, 22, was one of the key figures in the Scott Gomez trade struggled early in his first professional season falling all the way to a -8 rating before turning it around.  Of late he has been excellent and on the season he has a line of 1 goal 7 assists and an even rating in 38 games in the AHL. McDonagh will not amaze with flash in his game, but he will be a solid defensive presence who makes the simple plays and even clears the crease which is exactly what the Rangers need from him. Think of McDonagh as a cross between a Marc Staal type and Michael Sauer.

I like the move as long as McDonagh plays, but if he is coming up here to be an extra then this is huge mistake.  Have to wonder if this means Gilroy would continue to be out of the lineup or if someone else like Eminger might have his card pulled.