Gauging Michael Del Zotto Comparables

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The Flyers are currently in the midst of negotiating with Michael Del Zotto while in turn preparing for a potential arbitration hearing with him. While it’s pretty much guaranteed MDZ will get a raise, the question remains about how much of a raise he will get.

Del Zotto had a very good season, leading Flyers defenders in goals scored with 10. At .5 points per game, he was a solid scorer when in the lineup as well.

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In fact, as shown by the HERO chart above, Del Zotto scored at a top pair level, while driving offensive possession at a top pair level. His biggest weakness was his replacement level defensive ability as he clocked in at barely above replacement level. Also to be excited about is his high primary assist rate which means his scoring is skill driven rather than luck driven.

Above is a list of a comparables who were within 2 goals and 5 points of Del Zotto during their age 23-26 season since 2011. Some of these players, like Doughty and Seabrook, are among the elite of the elite, others, like Jamie McBain are barely finding minutes a few years later.

To find the best comparable, let’s look at some HERO charts of players on the list.

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So, Del Zotto clocks in better than McBain and Schultz and very similar to Keith Yandle. Yandle currently clocks in at a 5.25M cap hit signed through his age 29 season. While having less of a body of work and due to arbitration, shorter term, Del Zotto asking for 4.5M or more isn’t too unreasonable. In fact, it’s probably fair for him to get 4.5M for what he did last season.

Obviously the Flyers want to drive him down to something around the 2.5 owned by Ryan Ellis.

Most likely the two sides settle in the middle at a 3.5 cap hit on a 2 year deal rather than shelling out big bucks. That said, the going rate for perceived second pair defenders is usually 4M or so given the deals signed recently by Roman Josi, Jake Muzzin and Alec Martinez.

The Flyers might do well then to explore trading Del Zotto or Mark Streit because, with the kids coming, it’s likely not worth the long term commitment to both.

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