The Florida Panthers have extended GM Bill Zito

Bill Zito has been the GM of the Florida Panthers since 2020 and has done a great job.
Florida Panthers Introduce Paul Maurice
Florida Panthers Introduce Paul Maurice / Joel Auerbach/GettyImages

The Florida Panthers have signed GM Bill Zito to a multi-year contract extension and promoted him to President of Hockey Operations on Monday.

Zito took over as Florida's General manager in 2020 about a month after the Panthers lost in the qualifying round of the bubble playoffs. Since that season, the Panthers have made the playoffs every single season and have gone deeper into them every year.

Florida went from a team that had missed the playoffs every season from 2016 to 2020 to a team that made three consecutive postseason appearances, something that never occurred in their franchise's history.

Most recently, they went to the Stanley Cup Final in 2023 which they haven't done since the 1995-1996 season.

Bill Zito deserves this GM promotion with the Florida Panthers

Bill Zito is the main reason that the Panthers are successful now, no question. Whether it was acquiring Matthew Tkachuk from Calgary, signing Sam Reinhart, or smart drafting each year, things have gone well.

Zito and company have made smart decisions around the board to get this franchise back on the right track.

With this continued stretch of success into this season, Zito might be a GM of the year candidate, depending on where the Panthers finish in the playoffs of course.

It wouldn't be the first time Zito was in the conversation for GM of the Year as he was a nominee for the award in 2020-2021 and 2022-2023.

He cares about winning and anyone willing to improve a team that drastically will eventually be rewarded, maybe even as early as this season.

Unlike last year, the Panthers are near the top of their division and should be viewed as contenders. With one year of a full playoff run under their belts, the Panthers already know what it takes to win. Keep an eye out for them.