It has been a wild few weeks for Bill Zito as he dove headfirst into his new role as GM of the Florida Panthers.
After spending the past seven years in the front office of the Columbus Blue Jackets, Zito has the keys to his own organization for the first time — and he has been doing lots of driving.
Since taking the Panthers general manager’s job on Sept. 1, Zito has not only reworked the front office with a slew of new hirings, but he also swung a major trade.
Last week, Zito pulled two-time Stanley Cup champ Patric Hornqvist from Pittsburgh in exchange for Mike Matheson and Colton Sceviour.
He is not close to being done.
Coming up this week: Preparing for the NHL Draft (which will be held virtually starting next Tuesday) as well as the opening of the free agency period Oct. 9 at noon.
“It’s like putting together a bunch of puzzles at the same time,” Zito said, “and then putting those puzzles into a bigger puzzle.’’