COLUMBUS, OHIO – Columbus Blue Jackets Assistant General Manager Bill Zito has been named general manager of Cleveland's Lake Erie Monsters, the club’s American Hockey League affiliate, the Blue Jackets and Monsters announced today. In the role, Zito will oversee all hockey operations efforts for Lake Erie. The Blue Jackets and Monsters entered into a multi-year affiliation agreement in April.
“I’m honored and excited to take on this challenge,” said Zito. “I look forward to working with the Lake Erie organization.”
Zito, who was a member of the USA Hockey National Team advisory board at the 2015 IIHF World Hockey Championships at which Team USA won the bronze medal, has nearly three decades of experience encompassing numerous aspects of the game. He joined the Blue Jackets in August 2013 and has been an integral part of the club’s management team in the areas of contract negotiations, player evaluation, salary cap management and budgeting.
Prior to his arrival in Columbus, Zito spent two decades building Acme World Sports into one of the top hockey agencies in the world. Among the players he represented during that time were Vezina Trophy and Conn Smythe Trophy winner Tim Thomas, Vezina Trophy winner Tuukka Rask, Vezina Trophy finalist Antti Niemi and All-Stars Kimmo Timonen and Brian Rafalski.
Zito, 50, is a Milwaukee, Wisconsin native and graduate of Yale University, where he played varsity hockey from 1984-87. He then attended law school at the University of Wisconsin and during that time served as an assistant coach for the Badgers varsity hockey team and was a radio color commentator for Badger hockey. Upon earning his law degree, he went on to practice at major firms in New York and Chicago before founding Acme World Sports, LLC in 1995.