The Los Angeles Kings have placed Jeff Zatkoff on waivers today. This means that Jonathan Quick is probably close to returning to action. Peter Budaj has played well in Quick’s absence and is currently tied with Braden Holtby for the lead league in shutouts with 7 in 52 appearances. His 27-19-3 record, alongside a 2.12 GAA and a respectable .917 SV% kept the Kings competitive while their franchise goaltender healed up. Zatkoff, on the other hand, did not do himself any favors. In 13 appearances for the Kings, he posted a 2.95 GAA and a .879 SV%, resulting in a 2-7-0 record and now his waiving.
But what is next for the 29 year old goaltender? With numbers like that, it is hard to believe that many teams are jumping at the bit to claim Zatkoff. Most contenders are looking for help guarding the twine at the deadline, but Zatkoff’s recent performance may detract most possible suitors. His $900,000 cap hit is manageable, however, and some teams may have ulterior motives for the goaltender. Frank Seravalli certainly believes this to be the case.
To correct brain fart tweets on expansion: Zatkoff on waivers, seems PHI is only team that really needs a G now for expansion draft exposure
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) February 22, 2017
As I mentioned earlier, the Flyers need to address their goaltender situation for the upcoming expansion draft soon. If they were to pick up Zatkoff off Waivers, they would likely need to make some cap moves. This may require someone like Roman Lyubimov being sent down to the AHL, but only for a short time. Acquiring Zaktoff now would almost certainly be an indicator of an upcoming move before March 1st.
Signing Zatkoff would give the Flyers a goaltender to sign to a cheap 1 or 2 year deal and then expose in the expansion draft. This would make it easier to move either Mason or Neuvirth at the deadline, and would ultimately give Hextall more options between the pipes. Stay tuned to see what happens next.