This article will be another in my series of player profiles, where I’ll look at each player on the Anaheim Ducks and assess how their season went. This article will focus on Michael Del Zotto.
Del Zotto was an offseason addition, coming back to Anaheim after being traded to St. Louis at the trade deadline last season, after spending just over a month with Anaheim. He produced at a good rate this season, scoring 15 points in 49 games and did it while averaging not a whole lot of time on ice. He was also tied for the best plus-minus rating of any player on the team at a plus-five and had the second-highest goals for percentage of any player to finish the year on the team (minimum 10 games played).
That said, he was sheltered, playing against a lower quality of competition than the majority of Ducks’ defenders (according to Hockey Abstract) and getting more offensive zone starts as well. His expected goals for percentage was also much lower than his actual goals for percentage (according to NaturalStatTrick.com), so there’s a good chance his goals for percentage wasn’t very sustainable.
Even though Del Zotto produced at a good rate, however, I don’t see him coming back next season. He’s on an expiring contract, he’ll be 30 years old and the Ducks just have far too many prospects to start working into the lineup. Del Zotto simply shouldn’t be taking a spot from a younger player.
Overall, you can’t really complain about Del Zotto’s season, considering he was making pretty close to the league minimum on a one-year deal and managed to add some offense. He was meant to bring some depth to Anaheim’s defense group and that's what he did.
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Here’s today’s poll question (results and discussion will be posted in a future article):