BREAKING: Stanley Cup Champion retires from the NHL

James Connelly
September 6, 2023  (4:41 PM)

A Stanley Cup champion and 14-year veteran has decided to call it a career and hang up the skates.

Del Zotto Retires After 14 Years

Defenseman Michael Del Zotto just announced his retirement via Instagram:

His heartfelt caption encapsulated how he felt about 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 played 14 seasons with the Rangers, Predators, Flyers, Blues, Blue Jackets, Canucks, Ducks, and Senators. In his final NHL season, he posted 13 points in 26 games with the Senators.
Throughout his 736-game career, he amassed 262 total points primarily as a depth defenseman. We wish him all the best in his post-playing career.
BREAKING: Stanley Cup Champion retires from the NHL

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