Michael Del Zotto signs two-year, $5.1M deal

Michael Del Zotto skates during Rangers training camp Michael Del Zotto skates during Rangers training camp at the Madison Square Garden training facility in Greenburgh. (Jan. 13, 2013) Photo Credit: Anthony Lanzilote

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GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- It took until the 11th hour, but Michael Del Zotto signed a two-year, $5.1-million contract and skated during Sunday's camp opener.

"It worked out great," said Del Zotto, whose 41 points last season led the Rangers' defensemen. "The ultimate goal was to be with the team on Day 1. I didn't want to miss any more time than we had already."

Del Zotto, a restricted free agent who earned $875,000 last season, his third, couldn't reach a deal before the lockout, but talks heated up Tuesday.

"No one really put any pressure on me," he said. "A lot of guys were very encouraging, Cally [Ryan Callahan] especially. He had been through the process, and he said, 'Don't let it stress you out. It's part of the business.' "

Coach John Tortorella said it is critical for young players "to not miss a minute of camp" and that a nine-game stint in the Swiss league helped Del Zotto's conditioning. "He's looked very good the last few days."

Gilroy signs one-year deal

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Defenseman Matt Gilroy, the North Bellmore native who has been with the Connecticut Whale, signed a one-year deal worth $650,000. "He wasn't bad," said Tortorella, who saw some AHL games. "He's played in the NHL and we need depth. He can move the puck and skate, and we want to play [up] tempo."

Gilroy played here for two seasons, beginning in 2009, then left via free agency for Tampa.

Around the rink

C Brad Richards (flu) was out . . . With the current 22 players in camp -- and including charges for Chris Drury (buyout) and Wade Redden (expected to be paid but not play) -- the Rangers are about $4 million under the $70.2-million salary cap.

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