Former Stanley Cup Champion hangs up his skates for the final time at just 33-years-old

Published September 6, 2023 at 5:06 PM

The NHL is more and more becoming a young man's game. Players are peaking earlier and careers seem to be coming to an end much earlier. Today another player joined the NHL alumni after announcing his retirement.

Michael Del Zotto was drafted 20th overall in the 2008 NHL Draft by the New York Rangers. Del Zotto would make his NHL debut just a year later for the Rangers. Today however, Del Zotto made the announcement today via his Instagram that his career is in fact over.

Today is a bittersweet day. 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 made along the way.

Teammates, staff members and fans were among those relationships, but the most meaningful were the ones 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 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 learned along the way. 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 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 l've missed.

In his career Del Zotto played 736 NHL games for the Rangers, Predators, Ducks, Flyers, Senators, Blues, Canucks and Blue Jackets. During his season with the Blues the team managed to win the Stanley Cup. Congratulations on a great career.
September 6   |   92 answers
Former Stanley Cup Champion hangs up his skates for the final time at just 33-years-old

Congratulations Michael Del Zotto

Congratulations Michael Del Zotto92100 %
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