The Philadelphia Flyers have signed defenseman Michael Del Zotto to a one year, $1.3 million contract. Del Zotto was one of the more promising young defenseman in his first few years with the New York Rangers, putting up 37 points in his debut season with New York (9 goals, 28 assists). He struggled with a sophomore slump in 2010-11 (2 goals, 9 assists), but followed up with his best season to date in 2011-12 (10 goals, 31 assists).
Since the 2011-12 season, he has struggled and was often a healthy scratch during the 2013-14 season (67 games played, 3 goals, 13 assists). His 3.3% shooting percentage was his lowest since 2010-11 season.
The Rangers traded Del Zotto to the Nashville Predators, where he continued to struggle. Despite several defensemen signing lucrative deals during free agency, Del Zotto remained available up until this morning. The Philadelphia Flyers still had an open spot on the blue line after Kimmo Timonen suffered blood clots in his lungs and legs. Del Zotto should get more ice time with Philadelphia and another opportunity to prove he is a NHL caliber defenseman.
With Del Zotto, the Flyers get a young defenseman at a bargain price. There was some question of whether Del Zotto would be able to make an NHL roster this season, but perhaps a change of scenery and a team that will give him the proper amount of ice time will allow him to put up the numbers he did during the 2011-12 season. With a one year deal, Del Zotto will be out to prove that he is able to play at the NHL level and deserves a longer term contract next season.
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