By Jim Cerny, newyorkrangers.com
Less than a week after undergoing minor surgery on his nose to correct a breathing issue, defenseman Michael Del Zotto
was back on the ice working out with his teammates on Monday at the MSG Training Center.
Del Zotto explained that he suffered a broken nose in a game at Madison Square Garden last January -- when his face hit the dasher after a collisionwith an opposing player. As a result, some cartilage shifted in his nose and made it difficult for Del Zotto to breathe out of his right nostril.
|Rangers defenseman Michael Del Zotto didn't even realize he'd had a long-term breathing problem related to a January injury until it was diagnosed after he returned to New York in the late summer. |
“To be honest, I didn’t even think about it the rest of the season,” said Del Zotto, who was selected to the NHL’s 2009-10 All Rookie Team. “But it was just so difficult to breathe, especially when I was trying to sleep, and I wasn’t sure what it was.”
The popular 20-year-old had the problem diagnosed when he returned to New York late in the summer and had the corrective surgery to repair the cartilage last week.
“I figured it was better to get it done now,” said Del Zotto, who will be able to breathe more freely once the swelling from the surgery goes down.
Del Zotto wore a full face shield upon returning to the informal on-ice workouts on Monday, an extra piece of equipment he does not plan on wearing for too long.
“I do not like it at all,” said Del Zotto firmly. “It affects my vision, and that’s one of the strengths of my game. So as soon as I can get rid of it, I will.”
The smooth-skating defenseman reported that he felt like a college player wearing a full shield. Del Zotto even joked out on the ice with former Boston University star Brian Boyle
that he was ready to play for BU now.
With the start of training camp only four days away, Del Zotto is hopeful that his breathing is close to normal when the players take part in the grueling conditioning tests on Friday.
“My fingers are crossed that it’s all good by Friday,” Del Zotto said. “But either way I am taking part. There’s no way I won’t take those tests.”Frolov stands out during scrimmage
|Alexander Frolov |
Newcomer Alexander Frolov provided a glimpse of things to come this season during Monday’s scrimmage. Camped out by the right goal post, he accepted a cross-crease pass and quickly deposited the puck high into the net past goaltender Chad Johnson
“He has such fast hands and is so good in front of the net,” said fellow Russian Artem Anisimov
. “The pass is on his stick and then it’s in the top of the net.”
Anisimov, who met Frolov while the two were teammates playing for Russia at the 2010 World Championships, said that he is very happy the two-time 30-goal scorer is with the Rangers this season.
“It’s another Russian on the team,” Anisimov said with a laugh. “He’s a really good guy, and he’s going to score goals for us. He knows exactly where to go to score goals. Get out in front of the net, screen the goalie. It’s simple really because that’s where almost all goals are scored in this league. But it’s not easy to do. He does it.”