J.P. Hoornstra, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
The Reign's goalie trio of Kellen Briggs, Mike Zacharias and Garrett Zemlak seems likely to become a quartet soon.
When Kings goalie Erik Ersberg cleared waivers and was assigned to AHL affiliate Manchester on Tuesday, Ersberg was poised to join Jeff Zatkoff and rookie Martin Jones on the Monarchs' roster.
There's only room for two goalies, so I asked Kings assistant general manager Ron Hextall about the situation. A former NHL goalie himself, Hextall also serves as the Monarchs' general manager.
"If everything goes as planned -- we've got some things to talk about -- Erik would be (in Manchester), one of the young guys would be there, and we'd be looking to assign one guy to Ontario. That's the initial plan," he said.
Jeff Zatkoff spent his first pro season (2008-09) in Ontario already, so how much value would there be in sending him back?
"There would be no value there. we'd be looking at Jones there. That would be the right thing to do. Zats has put his time in in the East Coast League. It'd be Zats and Erik in Manchester. ... It's kind of what we have done. We've always been more comfortable with having one (goalie prospect) in Manchester, and another guy in the East Coast League."
Depending on where your young goalies are at, you always want a 'third goalie.' Now we view Erik as that. Zats, we're not comfortable with him being our third at this point. Now sometime this year we might say, yeah, we are. You get in a situation like a few years ago, using guys who aren't third goalies in the NHL and it's hard on our team. We waited this summer to see how things shook out with Bernier and Erik. Erik is absolutely our third. If we lose him, we'd probably be looking at that point for another guy (to be the third goalie).
Did you think Erik would still be here today?
I didn't know if he was going to get claimed. I thought there was a chance. You just never know what other teams are thinking.
Will there be an official decision on Jones this week, then?
My initial hunch is we'll send Jones down. They play tonight.
Will you also be deciding on any skaters to send to Ontario this week?
We don't have a lot (of skaters) there right now because our numbers are right close to where we need to be. We've got a lot of guys here, when Greener (Matt Greene) and [Scott] Parse come off IR. I don't see anybody in the immediate future going to Ontario other than the goalie, but that could change.
Eventually some others like Colten Teubert, Marc-Andre Cliché, Slava Voinov and Ray Kaunisto will be healthy too and that could affect what happens?
At some point if everybody gets healthy, yes, there would probably be a guy who shakes out. Right now, quite honestly, I don't know who they would be.