The competition for playing time on the third pair just got more difficult.
Earlier today, the Blue Jackets bolstered their defensive depth with the signing of Michael Del Zotto to a one-year, two-way contract. Del Zotto, 30, has registered 56-180-236 in 657 NHL games. His contract is worth $700K at the NHL level, and $400K at the AHL level.
#CBJ D Michael Del Zotto is a candidate to play on the third pair if he can push out Dean Kukan or Andrew Peeke for playing time.— Aaron Portzline (@Aportzline) January 10, 2021
His one-year deal will pay him $700,000 NHL / $400,000 AHL.
He entered the league with the New York Rangers at the age of 19. Since then, he's played for the Predators, Flyers, Canucks, Ducks and Blues. Del Zotto will wear number 15 with the Blue Jackets. The last Blue Jacket to don 15 was Jakob Lilja last season.
"Michael has great vision and puck moving ability and has been every bit as good as we thought he would be when we brought him to camp," said Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen. "We think the blue line is a real strength for our team, but you can never have enough good defensemen, particularly in a season like this with so many games in a relatively short period of time, and Michael has fit in very well with our group."