Philadelphia Flyers Free Agency: Michael Del Zotto


Philadelphia Flyers Free Agency: Michael Del Zotto

It can be said with a great deal of confidence that Michael Del Zotto was one of the most pleasant surprises of the Philadelphia Flyers 2014-2015 regular season. After an up-and-down first five seasons in the NHL, expectations for how he would perform in Philadelphia were not very high. Michael Del Zotto, a restricted free agent this summer, pleased everyone within the Flyers organization; and many believe that he will be back in orange and black next season. However, the fact that a deal has not been agreed upon yet has got me starting to think otherwise.

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I was one of many who felt that the Flyers would extend Michael Del Zotto’s contract once the regular season was finished. Although there have been discussions between the two sides, no contract agreement has been made. This could be for numerous reasons; but one has to imagine that Hextall is hesitant about committing a decent amount of money and years to Del Zotto. One thing Michael has proven in his career is his inconsistency, and the last thing the Flyers want to see is Del Zotto’s 2014-2015 season turn into a fluke.

If his game can continue to progress, Michael Del Zotto could fit perfectly in Dave Hakstol’s system. He is a speedy defenseman whose biggest strength is his puck movement skills. Del Zotto also has a wicked shot that finds the back of the net from time to time. Unfortunately, his biggest weaknesses revolve around his defending. I have always had difficulty with defensemen that are not good defenders; especially on a team that has struggled mightily on defense the past few seasons. The fact that Del Zotto struggles where the Flyers need the most help has to have Ron Hextall second guessing how much money he will be willing to shell out for him.

Another idea that might be flowing through Hextall’s mind is “What can I get for Del Zotto on draft day?” Personally, I would like to see the Flyers trade away Grossmann, Luke Schenn, or MacDonald before they considered dealing Del Zotto; but the reality is that he probably holds the most trade value. The Flyers might be waiting to see if they can trade away Del Zotto in order to grab another pick in the second or third round of this year’s draft. Although Philadelphia has a pick late in the second round, they would love to acquire another one in a deep draft such as this.

Jan 31, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Michael Del Zotto (15) celebrates the win with goalie Steve Mason (35) against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Wells Fargo Center. The Flyers defeated the Maple Leafs 1-0. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

When it is all said and done, Philadelphia will most likely end up signing Michael Del Zotto to a one or two year deal worth around $3M. However, the fact that a deal has not been agreed upon yet has to leave us Flyers fans wondering what could possibly be taking so long.

Next: Potential Offseason Targets

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