A little while back Ron Hextall, the Kings’ assistant general manager and GM of the Manchester Monarchs, said he wanted goaltending prospect Martin Jones to come to Ontario to get some regular playing time. He also wanted a more experienced #3 goalie with the Kings’ AHL affiliate club than Jeff Zatkoff; Erik Ersberg fit the bill after he was assigned to Manchester by the Kings.
Since then, Jones has left Ontario for Manchester and Ersberg is gone. So what’s next?
“Jonesy played extremely well on Sunday, and Zats played well on Friday-Saturday. As of right now, I’m comfortable,” Hextall said. “If someone up top got hurt, am I totally comfortable? Those guys (Jones and Zatkoff) need to play. If we get an injury at some point here, you hate to bring a young guy up for a month or two to sit.”
Neither the Kings’ starting goalie Jonathan Quick, nor backup Jonathan Bernier, has a history of significant injuries, so that possibility isn’t a strong one. Hextall said he would still feel more comfortable having a goalie with more professional experience than Zatkoff or Jones at Manchester, but “there’s not a lot out there.”
“The best I can tell you,” Hextall continued, “is we’ll monitor that on a regular basis. We’ll see what shakes out in the marketplace. Sometimes guys come back from Europe.”
So until the marketplace drops a more experienced goalie in the Monarchs’ lap, it looks like Jones is staying in the AHL.