When Alain Vingeault came to New York it became clear pretty quickly that Michael Del Zotto didn’t fit into his plans as well as he did under John Tortorella.
After a stretch of several games in the press box, the rumours started to swirl around Del Zotto and it was all but a matter of time before the young defender was traded. That day came yesterday when the Nashville Predators sent Kevin Klein to the Blue Shirts to acquire Del Zotto’s services.
The upside clearly favors Del Zotto and the Preds, with the defender six years younger than the 29 year old Klein. Del Zotto has 112 points in 292 games with the Rangers while Klein has 79 points in 356 contests with the Predators.
Knowing now what Del Zotto was officially traded for I have to wonder why a deal wasn’t done sooner. Kevin Klein is a solid depth defender but he is by no means a savior, or an equal trade partner for a 23 year old with a lot of potential.
The Preds get the win on this one.
The Toronto Maple Leafs and Los Angeles Kings made a minor deal yesterday as well.
The Leafs sent center Andrew Crescenzi to LA in exchange for forward Brandon Kozun.
Neither player has seen the ice of an NHL rink up close, but Kozun has had success in the American Hockey League with LA’s affiliate, the Manchester Monarchs. Kozun has scored at least 20 goals in each of his three seasons in the AHL and appears to be on pace for a fourth.
Crescenzi has played 49 games in the AHL, scoring 2 goals and adding 3 assists. He also spent part of 2012-2013 in the ECHL with the San Francisco Bulls where he had 3 goals and 11 assists in 23 games.
While it’s unlikely that either will play a prominent role with either club, I’d have to give Toronto the edge in this deal.