The Lakers have a knack for luring good players, don’t they?
Of course, we’re talking about the Rapperswil-Jona Lakers of the Swiss National League A, who have added New York Rangers defenceman Michael Del Zotto to a lineup that already boasts Ottawa Senators forward Jason Spezza.
“It’s gotten to the point now where I need to play,” the locked-out Del Zotto explained to Hockey Central @ Noon on Wednesday. “It just doesn’t look like we have a willing negotiating partner right now, and that’s frustrating.”
Del Zotto’s Rangers defeated Spezza’s Senators in a hard-fought, seven-game playoff series to open the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs.
The two NHLers have spoken frequently, Del Zotto said, before he decided to sign on with the Swiss club.
Spezza has 13 points in 13 games played for the Lakers this season.
“Hopefully we can do some damage together,” Del Zotto said. “I’m excited to go over and play and keep developing right now.”
The 22-year-old Del Zotto, a restricted free agent, said he has been hesitant to sign overseas because he is currently without a contract and had hoped the CBA negotiations would have been further along by now.
The Stouffville, Ont., native scored 41 points in 77 games with the Rangers last season, adding another 10 in 22 playoff games.
Hockey Hall of Famer Doug Gilmour also skated for Rapperswil during the 1994 lockout.