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Monday, June 30, 2014

Brooks: Isles interested in Del Zotto?

Larry Brooks is tweeting this morning about the Isles potentially being interested in acquiring Michael Del Zotto from Nashville. 

(Update: a few minutes after I sent this, Arthur Staple tweeted that he heard a rather definitive "no" from a couple of "Isles people")

Del Zotto will be a restricted free agent tomorrow, but it appears that the Preds will non-qualify him, which would make him an unrestricted free agent if he is not dealt.

Del Zotto is completing the 2nd year of a back-ended two-year deal he signed with the Rangers that paid him 2.2M in 2012-13 and 2.9M in 2013-14.    Per capgeek, his qualifying offer is based only on his latest year's salary, so he would need to be offered a QO of at least 2.9M for the Isles to retain his rights.  (If a player accepts the QO he is considered signed, if he rejects it he remains a restricted free agent)

If the Isles are truly interested, they have two players who certainly know him well as he played with both John Tavares and Calvin deHaan in juniors at Oshawa.

In fact, Del Zotto was traded, with Tavares, to London, in one of those deals you only hear about in
a) Jr Hockey
b) Late nights on WFAN
halfway through their final season of juniors (Oshawa was way out of the playoff race at the time)

"Tavares, Del Zotto and goaltender Daryl Borden were also dealt to London in exchange for forward Christian Thomas, defenceman Scott Valentine, goaltender Michael Zador, along with the six draft picks - London's four second-round picks for the next four years, and the Knights third round picks in both 2010 and 2011."

Neither Borden or Zador played beyond Junior, Valentine (who just turned 23) has played the last three seasons with Milwaukee (AHL) while Thomas (Steve's son) has played in 3 NHL games over the past two years -- 1 with the Rangers and 2 with the Canadiens.

Oshawa btw missed the playoffs the following year but has made the OHL playoffs in each of the following 4 years.  London, coached by Islander antagonist Dale Hunter has since won 2 championships in the OHL.

Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since January 21, 1982. Visit my blog: NYISkinny.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick

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