Rangers healthy scratch Del Zotto… again

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Michael Del Zotto will be back in the press box on Wednesday night and, quite possibly, back in his coach’s doghouse as well.

Del Zotto will be a healthy scratch for the Rangers for tonight’s game in Florida, the team announced this afternoon. It marks the fourth time in seven games the 23-year-old rearguard has been dropped from the lineup.

The former first round pick was a healthy scratch in three straight games last week before drawing back in for wins over Dallas and Nashville, then a 5-0 blowout loss in Tampa (Del Zotto went minus-2 in the defeat to the Lightning.)

The lack of harmony between he and head coach Alain Vigneault has led to numerous trade rumors, including one linking Del Zotto to Ottawa (which apparently went cold, according to TSN’s Darren Dreger.)

All of this marks a pretty quick fall from grace for Del Zotto. Last season, he signed a two-year, $5.1 million extension and proceeded to score 21 points in 46 games, leading all Rangers defensemen in scoring.

Through 19 games this year, he has just four points and is averaging a career-low 18:08 TOI per game.