NHL trade rumors: Senators pursued Michael Del Zotto, according to report

Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

The Ottawa Senators pursued Michael Del Zotto via trade but couldn't present an attractive enough package to the New York Rangers.

Trade rumors have been heating up around the New York Rangers for some time and the most recent discussions have centered on defenseman Michael Del Zotto.

Del Zotto has been linked to trade talks for the past week or so after TSN's trio of insiders indicated on Insider Trading that five or six teams were interested in the 23-year-old defenseman. The Ottawa Senators were identified as a primary suitor in trade talks, with manager Bryan Murray attempting to acquire a puck moving defenseman.

However, Del Zotto might not be an option, as Darren Dreger tweeted that New York doesn't see Ottawa as a fit, despite the Senators making Eric Gryba, Colin Greening and/or Erik Condra available in prospective talks. It remains unclear what kind of packages were discussed other than the Rangers not having interest in whatever Ottawa was selling.

Del Zotto has fallen out of favor since the arrival of new head coach Alain Vigneault, who commented on Del Zotto's poor play last week, via The New York Daily News:

"I've been told that Michael Del Zotto is a much better player than I've seen so far," Vigneault said after Wednesday's practice.

[. . .]

"I have not seen that on a consistent enough basis for him to be able to say that he's going to be in the lineup every night."

As a result, Del Zotto was a healthy scratch in three consecutive games last week, before returning for the team's last three games.

In terms of Ottawa, any type of deal is going to have to work around finances, as owner Eugene Melnyk has reportedly established an internal budget of $50 million. Pierre LeBrun stated that the Senators' budgetary restraints makes it difficult for player movement, as most deals require dollar-for-dollar transactions. Whether this will allow Murray to add the puck moving defenseman he seeks remains to be seen.

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