BREAKING: 700-Game Veteran Defenseman Announces Retirement

Published September 6, 2023 at 4:47 PM

A 700-game NHL veteran and Stanley Cup champion has decided to retire from hockey after a 14-year career.

Del Zotto Retires From Hockey

Michael Del Zotto, most recently of the Ottawa Senators, has announced his retirement from hockey after 14 seasons in the NHL.

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.

Del Zotto was initially a first-round draft pick of the New York Rangers and played with them for his first 4 and a half years. He was then traded to the Predators which began his tenure of a journeyman which saw him play with the Preds, Flyers, Blues, Blue Jackets, Ducks, Canucks, and finally the Senators.

While he may have not been super flashy, he did his job and he did it well. He won a cup with the Blues in 2019. In his final season, he scored 13 points in 26 games before being waived by the Senators.

We wish him all the best as he enters his new stage of life.
September 6   |   1 answers
BREAKING: 700-Game Veteran Defenseman Announces Retirement

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