While the NHL trade deadline is about a month away, several teams engaged in trades on Monday, including the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Los Angeles Kings. While it's unknown how much of an impact the trade will have, the Blue Jackets are still fighting for the top spot in their division. Meanwhile, the Kings are looking towards the future it seems, although they are still competitive in the Pacific.
According to NHL.com, the Columbus Blue Jackets will receive goalie Jeff Zatkoff from Los Angeles in today's trade. The goalie was only in 13 games last season for the Kings and put up a record of 2-7-1 with a 2.95 goals-against average along with a.879 save percentage. In exchange, the L.A. Kings will receive "future considerations" from the Columbus Blue Jackets. Earlier in the day, the Blue Jackets traded away a minor league contract and then acquired this one, which doesn't really fit into either team's current situations.
The 30-year-old Zatkoff didn't really have a place on the Kings' roster making this a smart move for L.A. to make. A former third-round pick by the Kings back in 2006, Zatkoff has a total of 48 games played for his career. During those contests he's racked up 18 wins 21 losses and four ties with a 2.72 goals-against average, and a.908 save percentage.
Since Zatkoff hasn't appeared in any games in the NHL this season, the expectation is he'll be added to the Columbus AHL team, the Cleveland Monsters. The team has had some issues with their goaltenders in the current season, according to a Pro Hockey Rumors report so they will likely keep him in the rotation there just in case they need to add a backup goalie for the main roster.
As of this report, the Los Angeles Kings are 25-17-5 and in fourth place in the competitive Pacific Division. They're just behind the Calgary Flames and San Jose Sharks, while all teams trail the Vegas Golden Knights who sit at the top. The Columbus Blue Jackets hold the third-place spot in the Metropolitan division with a record of 26-18-3. New Jersey Devils and Washington Capitals are above them in the battle for the top spot.