The New York Rangers have extended a contract offer to restricted free agent defenseman Michael Del Zotto, according to team general manager Glen Sather in speaking with Larry Brooks of the New York Post on Friday night.
The two sides are believed to have been in discussions since Tuesday, with both the Rangers and Del Zotto expressing interest in coming to terms on a new deal prior to the expected start of training camp on Sunday.
While they are able to agree on that much, it appears there might be a difference of opinion on what the deal should be:
"Michael has until [tomorrow] morning to figure this out, and I sure hope he does so he doesn't have to miss any time. We've made Michael a very good and very fair offer."
"Sitting out is not going to help him in any way."
Due to the lockout-shortened season, the NHL has already confirmed that the deadline for restricted free agents to sign has been dissolved for this season. In previous years, restricted free agents needed to sign before Dec. 1 or they would be ineligible for the entirety of the season.
Without the deadline, restricted free agents will have the option of an extended holdout.
Whether it will come to that point remains to be seen. According to the New York Post report, Del Zotto is believed to be seeking a two-year deal that will pay at least $3 million per season. The Rangers are believed to have offered him a two-year deal worth at least $2.4 million.