The 27-year-old defenceman said he’s “really, really excited” to play in Vancouver—”one of my favourite cities”—during an interview on The Jeff Blair Show on Sportsnet 590 The FAN Tuesday morning.
“First time in a Canadian market for me, which I’m really excited about,” said the Stouffville, Ont., native. “It doesn’t matter where you are, any time you come back to Canada it’s just a different feel when you play a game there. They just live and breathe hockey so I’m super excited for that.”
Del Zotto has been through plenty of ups and down over the course of his career—”some off years, some really good years, a bunch of injuries”—and said he’s looking forward to taking the next step in his career by taking on a leadership role in Vancouver after signing a two-year, $6-million deal with the young Canucks back on July 1.
Happy Canada day! So excited to be joining the Vancouver Canucks. Can’t wait to give everything I have to the passionate hockey fans of the amazing city of Vancouver. #canucks #vancity #ohcanada #canada150
3,494 Likes, 251 Comments – Michael Del Zotto (@mdzofficial) on Instagram: “Happy Canada day! So excited to be joining the Vancouver Canucks. Can’t wait to give everything I…”
“I think the biggest thing that I’m excited for there is embracing that leadership role,” he said. “It’s something I’ve taken on in the last year or two and you know I’m not old by any means, but I’m not 19 anymore, I’m going into my ninth season.”
Del Zotto has registered a total 47 goals and 142 assists for 189 points in 484 career NHL regular season games over the course of eight NHL campaigns. He has spent the bulk of his career so far with the New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers, with a short stint in Nashville separating them.
He had six goals and 12 assists in 51 games with Flyers this past season—his third in Philadelphia.
“The leadership side is something that really excites me. I love picking young guys’ brains and being there for them to talk to,” he said. “Anyone who gets to know me personally knows that I’m a pretty open person, I’m an open book, love to joke around, love to have fun, tease the boys in the locker room. It’s very rare you see me without a smile on my face.”
Del Zotto also talked about the impact of nutrition in sport, the mental side of the game, and his budding career as a DJ. Listen to the full interview here: