Longtime NHL defenseman Michael Del Zotto joined the Florida Panthers organization by signing a one-year, two-way contract with the club on Sunday.
Del Zotto, a 32-year-old veteran of 13 NHL seasons, split last season between the Ottawa Senators and their AHL affiliate in Belleville. In his first AHL action since suiting up for 11 games with Hartford during the 2010-11 campaign, Del Zotto produced over a point-per-game clip with 27 (10g, 17a) in 26 contests with Belleville. He also contributed 13 points (3g, 10a) in 26 games with Ottawa.
The New York Rangers’ first-round draft choice (20th overall) in 2008, Del Zotto has registered 262 points (63g, 199a) in 736 career NHL games with the Rangers, Nashville, Philadelphia, Vancouver, Anaheim, St. Louis, Columbus and Ottawa. The 6-foot, 195-pound native of Stouffville, Ontario, also posted 183 points (39g, 144a) in 190 career junior games with Oshawa and London of the Ontario Hockey League from 2006-09.
Del Zotto is the latest in a series of veteran players to sign two-way contracts with the Panthers since free agency opened on Wednesday, joining fellow defenseman Anthony Bitetto, Calder Cup champion goaltender Alex Lyon and former AHL MVP Gerry Mayhew.