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Florida Panthers sign veteran defenseman Michael Del Zotto

Cats continue to add depth in free agency

Florida Panthers v Ottawa Senators Photo by André Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images

The  Florida Panthers have signed veteran defenseman Michael Del Zotto to a one-year, two-way contract.

Del Zotto, 32, skated in 26 games with the Ottawa Senators in 2021-22, recording three goals 13 points. He also played in 26 games with Ottawa’s American Hockey League affiliate, the Belleville Senators, producing 10 goals and 27 points.

The well-traveled 6-foot, 195-pound native of Stouffville, Ontario has plenty of NHL experience, appearing in 736 career NHL games with the Senators, Columbus Blue Jackets, Anaheim Ducks, St. Louis Blues, Vancouver Canucks, Philadelphia Flyers, Nashville Predators and New York Rangers amassing 262 points (63-199-262).

Originally selected by the Rangers in the first round (20th overall) of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, Del Zotto has competed in 32 Stanley Cup Playoff games, all with the Rangers, compiling 12 points (3G/9A). Del Zotto made his NHL debut in October 2009, becoming the youngest defenseman in Rangers history to make his debut on opening night at the age of 19 years old. He was named the NHL’s Rookie of the Month for October after notching 12 points over his first 14 NHL games.