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Del Zotto retires after 13 NHL seasons

Scott Levy / National Hockey League / Getty

Defenseman Michael Del Zotto announced his retirement from professional hockey in an Instagram post Wednesday.

"Today is a bittersweet day," Del Zotto wrote. "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."

The 33-year-old played 736 games over the course of his 13-season NHL career. He spent the 2022-23 campaign in the AHL with the Charlotte Checkers and San Diego Gulls, finishing the year with 41 points in 65 contests.

Del Zotto was drafted 20th overall in 2008 by the New York Rangers. The Stouffville, Ontario, native spent five seasons in a Rangers uniform from 2009-14, the longest stint of his career with one team.

He burst onto the scene in 2009-10 when he tallied nine goals and 37 points in 80 games as a 19-year-old. Del Zotto landed on the All-Rookie Team and finished eighth in Calder Trophy voting. At the end of the year, he made his lone appearance with Team Canada when he suited up at the 2010 World Championship.

After a slight sophomore slump, Del Zotto bounced back in 2011-12 for the best season of his career. He racked up 10 goals and 41 points in 77 contests and finished 12th in Norris Trophy voting.

The Rangers traded Del Zotto to the Nashville Predators in January 2014 in exchange for Kevin Klein. He spent 25 games with the Predators, registering five points, and left the team as a free agent that summer, signing with the Philadelphia Flyers.

Del Zotto accrued 20 goals and 63 points in 167 contests with the Flyers over three seasons. After joining the team on a one-year pact, Del Zotto signed the biggest deal of his career with Philadelphia in 2015 when he inked a two-year, $7.75-million contract.

Following his Flyers tenure, Del Zotto bounced around the league. He was traded twice in the 2018-19 campaign and signed three one-year contracts over a four-year period. The two-year deal he inked during this stretch was bought out by the Ottawa Senators in 2022.

Del Zotto appeared in the Stanley Cup Playoffs twice with New York in 2012 and 2013.

He was on the St. Louis Blues' roster for the 2019 playoffs. Despite not playing a postseason game with the team, Del Zotto's name was engraved on the Cup after the Blues' victory.

In total, Del Zotto accumulated 63 goals and 262 points across stints with the Rangers, Predators, Flyers, Vancouver Canucks, Anaheim Ducks, Blues, Columbus Blue Jackets, and Ottawa Senators.

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