Category Archives: Columbus Blue Jackets

Jeff Zatkoff Notches First Career Win as Penguins Blank Blue Jackets

Jeff Zatkoff makes one of his 19 saves to earn his first career NHL victory. (Zanesville Times Recorder)

It was only fitting that former Miami goaltender, Jeff Zatkoff, notch his NHL first win in a town where he and the RedHawks have been so successful over the years.

The 26 year old Miami alum from Detroit, Mich. made 19 saves to record his first career win shutting out the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-0 behind goals from Derek Engelland, Jussi Jokinen and former Ferris State Bulldog, Chris Kunitz. The win moves Zatkoff’s season record to 1-2 with a 3.35 GAA and .865 save percentage as he has largely seen the pine behind Penguins starter Marc-Andre Fleury. Fleury, who is 10-2 and has played 12 of Pittsburgh’s first 15 games, collected the victory on Friday as the Penguins swept a home-and-home series from their new division-mates.

With the loss, the bumbling Blue Jackets slip to 5-8 and have started what was supposed to be a breakout season very slowly.

Congratulations, Jeff, and Love and Honor! Here’s to many more victories in the future!

>Jarod Palmer signs with Wild

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Miami’s Palmer signs free agent deal with Minnesota

A few weeks ago, Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson mentioned that he was looking at one college free agent as a potential signee. I was hoping it was going to be Miami’s Jarod Palmer who had 18-27-45 this year for the RedHawks. Aside from possessing blistering speed, Palmer has everything you’d want. Decent size, great hands, a penchant for penalty-killing. Sound like someone the Jackets could use? You betcha. Plus, he’s 24 years old and would have the maturity the team sometimes lacks.

Alas, the Wild scooped up the Minnesota native and signed him to a 1-year, $700,000 deal.

Here’s the Star Tribune’s coverage.

And, perhaps the Wild were swayed by THIS from last year’s developmental camp. Nasty.

Best of luck to Jarod in the future. He was a great player at Miami for four years.

>Jackets Build Chemistry in Oxford

>Here is a nice article from Pete Conrad at the Journal-News on the Blue Jackets team building trip to Oxford today. It has some great quotes from Jackets Head Coach Ken Hitchcock on building chemistry, his thoughts on the University, and more. Really a good read for those of you (ME) that were unable to attend today’s workout.

And…as an added bonus…here are some photos of the action at Goggin, also from the Journal-News.

And this video from the Blue Jackets website:

http://bluejackets.nhl.tv/team/embed.jsp?catid=702&id=22136

I had to post this one of Senior Defenseman Ray Eichenlaub:

The Blue Jackets continue their workouts tomorrow at Cady Arena at 10am.

>Blue Jackets Skate at Goggin This Week

>As I posted earlier here, the Columbus Blue Jackets will wrap up their 2008 training camp at Cady Arena this week. We now have a time for that, thanks to the official Blue Jackets blog, Puck Rakers. The new-look Jackets will be at Cady with a 10am skate on both Tuesday, October 7, and Wednesday, October 8…this coming week. It is open to the public.

It’s open to the public as well. If anyone is attending and would like to send me a summary, or some pictures, I’d greatly appreciate it. I’m unable to attend because I have to go to class.

>Blue Jackets Training Camp Comes to Oxford

>According to the Columbus Blue Jackets official web site, the team will wrap up it’s 2008 training camp in…none other than Oxford, Ohio.

Here is the link to the article. The only important part reads:

The team will conclude its preparations for the season with team building and on-ice practices in Oxford, Ohio from October 6-8.

You can view the training camp schedule at this link. No times have been posted yet for the Jackets workouts in Oxford.

It’ll be very interesting to see how this pans out and if it’s open to the public.

>Hockey’s Future Features RedHawk Skaters

>Over on Hockey’s Future, they’re in the process of compiling each organization’s Top Twenty Prospects. Former RedHawks Jeff Zatkoff and Alec Martinez were ranked 12th and 15th, respectively in the LA Kings Top Twenty, while Freshman defenseman Will Weber was rated the 14th best prospect in the Columbus Blue Jackets franchise. Here are a few snippets from each:

Los Angeles Kings

12. Jeff Zatkoff, Goaltender

Jonathan Bernier is not the only goaltender in the Kings system with legitimate NHL starting potential. Zatkoff left college hockey early, signing an entry-level contract during the offseason. With Bernier and Jonathan Quick already in the system, it will be tough for Zatkoff to find significant playing time. But the Kings were high enough on Zatkoff to bring him into the already packed minor league system to begin his training under the watchful eyes of the Kings coaching staff. He does not have the future franchise goaltender tag that Bernier has, but can be a solid and steady No. 1 goaltender in the right situation. He will spend a couple of seasons in the minor leagues before he can be expected to see meaningful minutes in the NHL, whether with Los Angeles or with another organization. If both Bernier and Zatkoff develop to their full potential, the Kings will have a valuable trading chip in Zatkoff that they can use to fill any hole in their roster in future years. Or, if Bernier falters, Zatkoff is a good insurance policy to have..

You can read JZ’s profile analysis by clicking here.

15. Alec Martinez, Defenseman

With no graduations from these rankings, it stands to reason that most prospects would drop a couple of spots as new faces from the 2008 Entry Draft are added. But Martinez is one of the few prospects who actually moves up after an outstanding season with Miami University. He demonstrated enough skill and maturity last season to seriously be considered a viable candidate to join Los Angeles as early as this season. Martinez is a two-way defenseman with respectable enough skating ability to keep pace with the forwards at the NHL level. He does not have as high of a ceiling as the first three defensemen on this list, but like Harrold, can be serviceable enough at the NHL level. If he does not join Los Angeles to start the season, he will likely take the spot in Manchester vacated by Harrold’s promotion to the Kings.

This link showcases Alec’s prospect profile.

Columbus Blue Jackets

14. Will Weber, Defenseman

Weber has all the physical tools to become a very good NHL defenseman, but he is extremely raw. He has strong skating, has a good build for an NHL defenseman at 6’4, 205, and he has a good shot.

The big Michigan product had an up and down season last year with the Steel and did not stand out overall as one of the better defensemen on his team. He had a total of 18 points in 46 games. He is committed to play at Miami University and will need a few years there to mold himself into a premier quality, polished defenseman.

View Will’s profile, click here.

These really are very good reads. I strongly encourage you to check them out. I’ll have these permanently linked in the upper right corner of the page, for future reference.