The Ottawa Senators announced today that they’ve signed defenseman Michael Del Zotto to a two-year deal. The contract is worth $4MM and pays him $2MM per season. Per CapFriendly, the contract is as follows:
Del Zotto turned a PTO with the Columbus Blue Jackets last fall into a contract and then quietly enjoyed a solid season as a physical presence and occasional offensive contributor for Columbus, outplaying his minimum contract. Now he’s cashed in this off-season, inking a multi-year deal and a decent pay raise with Ottawa. Just when it seemed like the days of “MDZ” being a well-compensated, top-four defenseman were over after over a decade as a reliable defender in the league, the Senators swooped in to reward him for a job well done.
While Ottawa was surely impressed by Del Zotto’s return to relevance last season, the most important piece for the rebuilding team may very well be his leadership and experience. It is the same reason why the Senators targeted Nick Holden in a trade today as well. The blue line suffered from a lack of veteran presence this past season and star Thomas Chabot could use some more support with a number of young defenseman in the mix. Del Zotto is a well-liked and well-respected defender who can help to lead and develop the Senators blue line over the next two years.