Mike del Zotto practices with a visor because of nose surgery

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mikedelzottonose.jpgNose surgeries are a cosmetic procedure in Hollywood, but in hockey, a broken nose is an ugly badge of honor. Just take a look at the often-rearranged snout of Dallas Stars defenseman Stephane Robidas.

He had a lousy plus/minus (-20) in his rookie season, Mike del Zotto had an impressive offensive season on the New York Rangers blue line, producing nine goals and 28 assists for 37 points. The young defenseman underwent surgery on his nose from an injury he underestimated all the way back in January, according to Ranger Rants.

Del Zotto was wearing a full, clear, plastic visor as a precaution after having nose surgery last week to correct a cartilage problem. In January, Del Zotto recalls lining a player up for a hit along the boards in front of the Rangers’ bench at Madison Square Garden, missing the check but hitting the opponent’s foot and going face-first into the dasher. Del Zotto didn’t think it was broken at the time, though it hurt. It wasn’t until he returned to New York and saw the Rangers’ training staff was the decision made to send him for a CT scan, after which surgery was recommended. The issue is that the cartilage in his nose was pushed to the right. The procedure re-aligned his cartilage properly and also shaved it down a bit.

He probably won’t miss any time, but here’s hoping he eschews the visor for a Rip Hamilton-style schnoz mask. Hey, I can dream, can’t I?