Dreger said, "I think it's fair to say that they were considered a serious trade partner but I don't think the talks ever got to a point where either said decided to sit on it for a day or two and thought that there was some sense with it. The New York Rangers really wanted a right shot defenseman and yea there was talk about Jake Gardiner but they were more interested in Cody Franson. It just didn't seem like a good fit, it's not that the Leafs didn't have interest in Del Zotto, they did but they were mindful of his deficiencies as well. They thought that it was too early in the year to make that play."
In regards to the deal that actually happened, Dreger said "The Nashville Predators have been on and off and I know that David Poile pitched Kevin Klein last week and it took the weekend for Glen Sather to ultimately decide. I'm sure that Alain Vigneault had some considerable input into that since he coached against Klein when he was the head coach in Vancouver. This is a good deal for both. It gives the Rangers a bit of stability, he is a 5/6 guy. He won't replace Dan Girardi if he decides to go to free agency or they move him. He is a dependable defenseman from a defensive side and in Del Zotto he gets a fresh start in Nashville."
Bob McKenzie said on TSN Drive last night, "it's not a surprise to the extent that Michael Del Zotto's named has been in the trade rumor mill all season long. He didn't get off to a good start this season and immediately got into the dog house of Alain Vigneault. Is it a chicken or the egg thing, was he playing bad, lost his confidence and he couldn't be put out there or was it because Vigneault wasn't putting him out there. Bottom line is that in his 5th NHL season, a very high potential offensive defenseman wasn't playing well for the Rangers. Some financial uncertainty for Del Zotto as well, he is an RFA at the end of the year and with arbitration rights and the Rangers don't like how he is playing right now and they know that his next contract will be for considerably more than $2.55 million cap hit he has this year. We gotta sign Girardi, we need some certainty so they go out and get a defensive defenseman who is a what you see is what you get with Kevin Klein. There is no surprise there and the best thing for the Rangers is that he is signed at the almost top-four salary of $2.9 million per year. The Rangers get financial security, if Girardi leaves they have a little insulation, if they keep Girardi they can move John Moore to the left side and everything fits for the Rangers. For Nashville, an offensively challenged team, they are looking for him to add offense but he will need to learn how to play under Barry Trotz which won't be easy for a defenseman whose defensive game is nowhere where it needs to be."
McKenzie went on to say that this is a big chance for Del Zotto but as someone who has had trouble gaining the trust of John Tortorella and Alain Vigneault in the past he will need to do a lot to improve on Barry Trotz.
Dave Hodge then asked if Del Zotto could be flipped if he struggled before the deadline and McKenzie said that it was possible but that you would be dealing with the law of diminishing returns. McKenzie adds, "no matter what you think of Kevin Klein he is an NHL defenseman and at that number, 2.9 million, he can play top four minutes and if you can get a top-four minute defenseman in the NHL who is making less than $3 million, it's a bargain. That is what the Rangers are looking at."
He adds that the market for Del Zotto was tough because teams don't want to pay a big price for a defenseman who isn't on top of his game and that if Nashville is going to try and flip him they will get a worse return than what they gave up.