The Anaheim Ducks blue line corps struggled during the 2019-20 season. One of the players who was part of the group is veteran Michael Del Zotto.
Del Zotto had 15 points in 49 games, and is slated to become an unrestricted free agent. The 29-year-old was on a cheap deal, with a cap hit of $750,000. With the team rebuilding, general manager Bob Murray will have to decide if Del Zotto should be in the fold again next year.
Head coach Dallas Eakins deployed Del Zotto in more offensive situations, putting him on the ice for offensive zone faceoffs 52.5% of the time, per hockey reference. He had the second-worst even strength Corsi For% of his career, at 46.7.
The Ducks scored six more goals with Del Zotto on the ice at even strength than they gave up, which is good considering it was such a down year for the team. He’s never been known as the best defensive player, so this is an encouraging stat.
One problem with bringing Del Zotto back —even if it is on a cheap deal like his current one— is that it will take valuable ice time away from the younger options. Anaheim should be focused on seeing what it has in its younger d-men, and bringing Del Zotto back goes against that thinking.
With veterans like Cam Fowler and Erik Gudbranson under contract for next season, Del Zotto becomes even more expendable.
Do you think Murray should bring back Del Zotto for the 2020-21 season?