Michael Del Zotto, still not signed, could miss start of camp

Michael Del Zotto warms up prior to a

Michael Del Zotto warms up prior to a game against the Florida Panthers. (Nov. 23, 2011) (Credit: Getty Images)

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Rangers defenseman Michael Del Zotto, who remains without a contract, could miss the start of training camp Sunday if a deal isn't reached.

"We started talking Tuesday and are still going," restricted free agent Del Zotto said Friday. "I said that we'd like to get it done sooner than later, and hopefully I don't miss any of training camp. We missed four months here. It's just a matter of getting a fair deal for both sides . . . I really want to be here. That hasn't changed."

Del Zotto, 22, had 41 points last season, the most among Rangers defensemen. He is seeking a significant raise from the $875,000 per season in his three-year entry-level contract.

Seeking what was believed to be a $3-million-per-year contract, Del Zotto did not sign a qualifying offer from the team last summer and has no arbitration rights. His current asking price is said to be lower, but he declined to discuss numbers Friday.

Del Zotto, selected in the first round of the 2008 draft (20th overall), played nine games with the Rapperswil-Jona Lakers of the Swiss-A league to stay in shape during the lockout and had two goals and four assists. He has been skating every day this week with his teammates at the MSG Training Center.

The Rangers have six defensemen signed. Matt Gilroy, who has been playing with the Connecticut Whale on an AHL contract, also has been skating at the team's facility.

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