Michael Del Zotto

Del Zotto to join Switzerland’s Rapperswil

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Unable to get a contract extension from the New York Rangers, Michael Del Zotto has found the next best thing — signing in the Swiss league for the Rapperswill-Jona Lakers.

News of the signing was reported Wednesday on the Rapperswill website, announcing the 22-year-old blueliner would join the National League A team on a lockout deal.

The signing is going to raise eyebrows on this side of the Atlantic as Del Zotto, a restricted free agent, will play in Switzerland without an NHL contract.

Negotiations with the Rangers went throughout the summer and at times got acrimonious — in September, GM Glen Sather predicted Del Zotto would eventually “come to his senses” and agree to the reported $2-2.5 million deal the Rangers were offering.

But either Del Zotto never came his senses, or Sather felt he didn’t come far enough. The two sides weren’t able to work anything out prior to the Sept. 15 CBA expiration, leaving Del Zotto (and a handful of other RFAs) without deals.

As for the Rapperswil signing…

Del Zotto will join Ottawa Senators forward Jason Spezza with the Lakers — Spezza signed on with the club back in mid-September. The team also features ex-Avalanche goalie David Aebischer, former Minnesota forward Robbie Earl and former Blues winger Peter Sejna.

Avs unveil new third jerseys

Avs Jerseys
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The Avalanche will be throwing a bunch of different looks at us this season.

Having already released specialized “Mile High” jerseys for February’s Stadium Series game, the Avs unveiled new third sweaters on Friday — less than 24 hours after a bitter 5-4 home loss to Minnesota in their season opener.

(Guess Colorado wanted to send out some good vibes after blowing a 4-1 third-period lead.)

While undoubtedly exciting for the organization, the release of these new thirds isn’t taking anybody by surprise. Last month, several websites published leaked images of Colorado’s and Anaheim’s third jerseys, so the design has been in the public eye for several weeks.

The Avs will debut these new thirds on Oct. 24, in a Saturday night tilt against Columbus.

Related: Roy explains why he didn’t call time out

Report: Escrow set at 16 percent

Gary Bettman, Donald Fehr
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Hey, remember in June when the NHLPA voted to keep the five-percent growth factor in spite of increasing worries about escrow?

Well, here’s why that decision was a significant one, via TSN’s Frank Seravalli:

With early revenue projections in place, the NHL and NHLPA set the escrow withholding rate for players at 16 per cent for the first quarter of the season on Thursday.

That means every player will have 16 per cent of earnings deducted from their paycheque and put aside until after all of this season’s hockey-related revenue is counted to ensure a perfect 50-50 revenue split with owners.

Now, this doesn’t mean that the players will definitely lose 16 percent of their salaries. Typically, they receive refunds when all the accounting is done.

Still, 16 percent is a good-sized chunk to withhold. They won’t be thrilled about it.

Related: To understand escrow, consider Duncan Keith