BREAKING: NHL Veteran Officially Announces Retirement

September 6, 2023  (5:05 PM)

Michael Del Zotto Announces Retirement at 33

A Farewell to a Versatile Defenseman
Michael Del Zotto, a seasoned defenseman with a storied NHL career, has officially retired from professional hockey at the age of 33.
A Journey Through the NHL
Del Zotto's NHL journey spanned from 2009 to 2022 and saw him don the jerseys of several teams, including the New York Rangers, Nashville Predators, Philadelphia Flyers, Vancouver Canucks, Anaheim Ducks, St. Louis Blues, Columbus Blue Jackets, and Ottawa Senators. Over the course of his career, he amassed an impressive 736 NHL games.
Contributions to the Game
Throughout his time in the league, Del Zotto made significant contributions, accumulating a total of 262 points. His versatility and ability to make an impact from the blue line were qualities that endeared him to fans and teammates alike.
Drafted by the Rangers
Del Zotto's journey began when he was selected 20th overall by the New York Rangers in the 2008 NHL Draft. This marked the start of a career that would see him make his mark in various franchises and solidify his reputation as a reliable defenseman.
A Final Season in the AHL
In his last season as a professional player, Del Zotto showcased his dedication to the game by joining the American Hockey League (AHL) ranks with the Charlotte/San Diego team. While the AHL provided a different platform, his passion for the sport remained evident.
His official statement
Today is a bittersweet day. I was fortunate enough to play 14 years of professional hockey. The blood, sweat, tears, broken bones, triumph, heartbreak and sacrifice were worth every second.

So were the many amazing relationships I made along the way.

Teammates, staff members and fans were among those relationships, but the most meaningful were the ones I shared with the kids I met at Ronald McDonald house during my time in Vancouver and those with the Garden of Dreams during my time in New York, especially Liam and Taylor.

As athletes, we can become consumed with each season, game period or shift, but hockey is just a game. These relationships often kept me in check and reminded me about what was most important in life. Having the opportunity to make a positive impact on others and give back to the community was the most rewarding part of my career. It is a role I will continue to cherish.

Spending 14 years in a pressure-packed and heavily-scrutinized job feels like a lifetime in itself, one with plenty of highs and lows. I am proud of the life lessons I learned along the way. I have made many mistakes and have learned from them all. I never wanted to be just known as a hockey player. I want to be known as Michael Del Zotto, period. I am proud of who I have become today.

None of this would have been possible without the unconditional love and support from my family. From the moment I put skates on at the age of 3 they were there to guide me and give me every opportunity to live out my dream. My accomplishments are just as much theirs as they are mine.

This version of myself is ready to take on the next chapter of life full steam ahead. I am ready to explore the world and be challenged in new ways. Most importantly, I am excited for more time with my family and the opportunity to make up for all the quality time I've missed.

Michael Del Zotto's retirement marks the end of an era in his hockey journey. His contributions to the NHL and the teams he represented will be remembered, and his next steps beyond the ice will undoubtedly be awaited with interest.
BREAKING: NHL Veteran Officially Announces Retirement

Will Del Zotto ever be inducted into the HHOF?

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