No Del Zotto deal expected before lockout


Despite the avalanche of signings in the days leading up to the impending lockout, it does not appear Michael Del Zotto will be joining the ranks of players reaching agreements with their respective clubs at the 11th hour.

According a to a source familiar with the situation, no deal is expected between the Rangers and the 22-year-old defenseman before Saturday's deadline.

The NHL intends to lock the players out if no deal is reached at midnight, when the current collective bargaining agreement expires.

Del Zotto, a restricted free agent coming off his entry-level deal, led all Rangers defensemen last season with 10 goals, to go with 31 assists. He also chipped in with two goals and eight assists in 20 playoff games.

He is believed to be seeking a significant raise in the form of a multiyear deal worth $3 million in average annual value.

When reached at the Rangers' charity walk in Manhattan last weekend, GM Glen Sather said he believed Del Zotto would "come to his senses" soon.