Del Zotto Returns To Anaheim Again

Photo: AP

Photo: AP

By Michael Walters

The NHL roster freeze(waivers and trades) goes in effect tonight at midnight and lasts until December 28th.

The Ducks managed to get in one trade before the deadline tonight in a three way trade involving Detroit and Florida. Anaheim acquired Michael Del Zotto, who will be joining the Ducks for his third stint. He was first with Anaheim during the 2018-19 season playing in 12 games. He had three assists and had a -3 on ice rating. He was then traded to St. Louis for a sixth-round pick in the 2019 NHL draft. He then returned to Anaheim signing a one year deal for the 2019-20 season playing in 49 games. He scored two goals and 13 assists and posted a +5 on ice rating.

Today Del Zotto was first traded to the Red Wings for right wing Givani Smith. He was then traded to the Ducks for center Danny O’Regan. It was probably just a matter of time before Pat Verbeek made a trade with his former boss and friend Steve Yzerman. It wasn’t a blockbuster move, but it signals the lines of communication are open between the two should another potential trade arise involving Anaheim and Detroit.

So why did Anaheim make a minor trade like this?

First off it gives the Ducks more depth on the blue line, which has had issues with players being healthy this season. Urho Vaakanainen was hurt in pre-season and missed a large part of the season, though he is now back. Jamie Drysdale was injured early on in the season and might not return this season or he may return but not until towards the end of the season. John Klingberg was also recently out for several games due to an injury. Colton White has also been sent to San Diego on a conditioning loan.

Second, getting Del Zotto gives Verbeek more options ahead of the trade deadline. If the Ducks trade a defenseman(i. e. Klingberg), then he doesn’t necessarily need a defenseman in return depending on the team’s situation. Del Zotto isn’t an everyday starter or top defensemen, but he has value as a depth player and is someone the organization is familiar with.

Del Zotto will report to San Diego for his first assignment. He has played 25 games this season in the AHL for the Charlotte Checkers(Florida affiliate) posting two goals and eight assists with a -8 on ice rating.

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December 19th, 2022


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