Del Zotto demoted

Quick update from afar: Michael Del Zotto's struggles have dropped him back to the AHL, with the Rangers opting to send the second-year defenseman to Hartford to work out the kinks that have sabotaged what many thought would be a successful sophomore season.

A frequent scratch (healthy or otherwise) lately, the offensive-minded Del Zotto has put up just nine points in 35 games this season, struggling on the power play in particular – an area he excelled in last season. The smooth and slick skating D-man tallied nine goals and 37 points in 80 games as a rookie in 2009-10.

The Rangers called up D Ryan McDonagh to fill the roster spot. It’s the first NHL promotion for the former Wisconsin Badger, who registered a goal and seven assists in the A this season.