Connecticut WhaleAndrew Gross and Larry Brooks are both reporting on their Twitter accounts that Michael Del Zotto has been sent to the Connecticut Whale to find his game and that Ryan McDonagh has been summoned to New York to take his place.

This is clearly a situation where a player has lost his confidence and thus his game has gone ka-bluey. The Rangers did this last season with Matt Gilroy and it had a very positive effect. You can only hope that this has the same affect on Del Zotto who will likely play Wednesday night in Worcester before heading on the road for two games in Norfolk and then a week off and then up to Portland.

Del Zotto’s first home game won’t come until January 15th when the Whale return to the XL Center to take on the Providence Bruins.

Del Zotto is likely to be paired with Wade Redden who he played with in New York. That is providing that Redden is well enough to play.

McDonagh meanwhile has been steadily improving and playing in all aspects of the game. He’s been particularly sharp of late and was solid in the Whale’s 3-0 defeat by Manchester Sunday afternoon in Hartford.

Here’s the official release:


New York, January 3, 2011 – New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that defenseman Ryan McDonagh has been recalled from the Connecticut Whale of the American Hockey League (AHL), while defenseman Michael Del Zotto has been assigned to Connecticut.

McDonagh, 21, has registered one goal and seven assists, along with 12 penalty minutes in 38 games with Connecticut this season. He ranks second among Whale defensemen in scoring with eight points, and is second with seven assists. McDonagh tallied five points (one goal, four assists) in an eight-game span from December 11 vs. Manchester to December 29 vs. Portland, ending the stretch with a three-game assist streak from December 21 at Manchester to December 29. He notched his first professional goal with a power play tally on December 11 vs. Manchester. McDonagh has posted a plus or even rating in 20 of his last 24 games, registering a plus-nine rating over the span. The former first round pick made his professional debut on October 9 vs. Charlotte, and registered his first career point with an assist on November 7 vs. Bridgeport.

Last season, the 6-1, 213-pounder established collegiate career-highs in games played (43), assists (14), points (18), and penalty minutes (73) while skating with the NCAA runner-up University of Wisconsin Badgers. He also ranked second on the team with a plus-22 rating. McDonagh registered an assist on the game-winning goal in the National Semifinal game vs. R.I.T. on April 8, 2010 to help Wisconsin advance to the National Championship game vs. Boston College. In three seasons with the Badgers, he registered 14 goals and 32 assists for 46 points, along with 174 penalty minutes in 119 career games.

The St. Paul, Minnesota native was originally Montreal’s first round choice, 12th overall, in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. He was acquired by the Rangers, along with forward Christopher Higgins and defenseman Pavel Valentenko, from Montreal in exchange for forwards Scott Gomez and Tom Pyatt, and defenseman Mike Busto on June 30, 2009.

Del Zotto, 20, has registered two goals and seven assists, along with 14 penalty minutes in 35 games this season. Five of his nine points have been recorded on the power play. He made his 100th career NHL appearance on November 19 at Colorado.

The Stouffville, Ontario native was originally the Rangers’ first round choice, 20th overall, in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.

The Rangers’ practice schedule for tomorrow, January 4, is 11:00 a.m. at the MSG Training Center.




  1. It is having a good impact on Gilroy now, but he would not be the model I hope for since his demotion did not help him at all in the NHL the rest of the year. In fact he played more scared when he came back up then before he was sent down.

    Zuccarello or even a Josh Bailey would be the kind of examples we should hope MDZ takes on this year. Hopefully the Redden mentoring magic will continue on Del Zotto as well.