Hextall: Sending Jones to Ontario ‘would be the right thing to do.’

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.

This entry was posted in Ontario Reign/ECHL and tagged , , , by J.P. Hoornstra. Bookmark the permalink.

About J.P. Hoornstra

J.P. Hoornstra covers the Dodgers, Angels and Major League Baseball for the Orange County Register, Los Angeles Daily News, Long Beach Press-Telegram, Torrance Daily Breeze, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Pasadena Star-News, San Bernardino Sun, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Whittier Daily News and Redlands Daily Facts. Before taking the beat in 2012, J.P. covered the NHL for four years. UCLA gave him a degree once upon a time; when he graduated on schedule, he missed getting Arnold Schwarzenegger's autograph on his diploma by five months.
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