NHL Veteran Officially Announces Retirement in Heartfelt Statement

Published September 6, 2023 at 3:02 PM

Former NHL Defenseman Michael Del Zotto Calls It a Career at 33

A Career Spanning Over a Decade

Michael Del Zotto, the seasoned defenseman, has officially announced his retirement from professional hockey at the age of 33. Del Zotto leaves behind a legacy that includes 736 NHL games played across a career that spanned from 2009 to 2022.

A Journey Through the NHL

Del Zotto's NHL journey took him through several teams, wearing the jerseys of the New York Rangers, Nashville Predators, Philadelphia Flyers, Vancouver Canucks, Anaheim Ducks, St. Louis Blues, Columbus Blue Jackets, and the Ottawa Senators. Throughout his time in the league, he managed to accumulate an impressive 262 points.

A First-Round Draft Pick

The New York Rangers recognized Del Zotto's potential early on, selecting him as the 20th overall pick in the 2008 NHL Draft. This marked the beginning of a career that would see him make his mark on the league. Del Zotto's last season in professional hockey saw him lace up his skates in the AHL, where he split his time between the Charlotte Checkers and the San Diego Gulls.

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.

As Del Zotto hangs up his skates, the hockey world reflects on the impact he made throughout his career, wishing him well in his retirement.

September 6   |   58 answers
NHL Veteran Officially Announces Retirement in Heartfelt Statement

What will Del Zotto be remembered as?

An amazing defensemen1119 %
An average defensemen3662.1 %
A below average defensemen1119 %
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