The Stanley Cup is starting to make the rounds of being with the players for a day, and Wednesday it was Jeff Zatkoff's turn. (It's going to a certain someone's parade this Saturday in Nova Scotia that probably will get a little more media coverage).
Stanley Cup selfie! @briankaufman15 with @USHL & @MiamiOH_Hockey alumni, Alec Martinez and Jeff Zatkoff. pic.twitter.com/9HG0vRx1dl— Omaha Lancers (@OmahaLancers) July 13, 2016
Zatkoff signed with the Los Angeles Kings, the original team that drafted him in 2006. He got two years and $900,000 per on a one-way deal, a strong indication that he will be full-time in the NHL behind Jonathan Quick. Zatkoff was a very good teammate and often lauded for his positive attitude and was well liked and respected among the Penguins players.
Tough situation for him in Pittsburgh, after serving as NHL backup in 2013-14, JZ was relegated back to Wilkes-Barre in 2014-15 when the Pens wanted to upgrade their backup goaltender in the form of Thomas Greiss. When Greiss left the following summer, Zatkoff was again the #2 option for 2015-16 but Pittsburgh had a plan to promote Matt Murray, which they did, leaving Zatkoff to be #3 on a 2-person depth chart.
Still, Zatkoff stayed ready and will be in franchise lore for not only being a surprise starter for Game 1 of the first round vs the Rangers (with Murray and Marc-Andre Fleury both concussed) but also WINNING and beating Henrik Lundqvist, earning Zatkoff the nickname of "Mr. Game 1" from his teammates. Zatkoff also played Game 2 in a losing effort before Murray was able to return in Game 3, and the rest is history.
It's Jeff Zatkoff's day with the Stanley Cup. #CupTracker https://t.co/zKLfiaUvg6 pic.twitter.com/F6KJ3xnGMb— Post-Gazette Sports (@PGSportsNow) July 13, 2016
Jeff Zatkoff stops for a bite during his #stanleycup tour back in his home town. @NHL @HockeyHallFame @penguins pic.twitter.com/0v9aAnZI3Z— Philip Pritchard (@keeperofthecup) July 13, 2016
A cool last day to wear that Penguins polo shirt. The Cup is off to Oakville, Ontario tomorrow for a day with Scott Wilson on Thursday before, as mentioned above, it'll be the captain's weekend with Stanley.