Photo Credit: Norm Hall
Mike Zigomanis is a man on a mission. The Coyotes center has spent everyday of the 2006-07 training camp battling for a spot on the roster. This is nothing new for Zigomanis, who has played three partial seasons in the National Hockey League, but as of yet, hasn't spent a full season on an NHL roster.
"The biggest thing is consistency", said Zigomanis. "Just picking a role and sticking with it and doing the best you can with what you are given to do. Those are probably the biggest two things."
Zigomanis, 25, has bounced around during his five years as a professional hockey player. Originally drafted in the second round, 64th overall in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft by the Buffalo Sabres, Zigomanis never signed a contract and was allowed to re-enter the draft in 2001, where he was again selected, this time as the 46th pick by the Carolina Hurricanes.
He spent a year and a half in the American Hockey League playing for the Lowell Lock Monsters, the Hurricanes top AHL affiliate at the time, before being called up to the Hurricanes. Scoring just two goals in 19 games for Carolina, the North York, Ontario native didn't put up the numbers he had in his junior days and was again assigned to Lowell.
"At the end of the day, whether you are a penalty killer, a checker or a banger, you've got to put points on the board, you have to score and make plays," said Zigomanis. "I haven't (been able to) in the past years (score) many points and that's what I am looking to do, put points on the board."
Zigomanis is hoping he's shown Coyotes Head Coach Wayne Gretzky that he has earned a roster spot and can begin the 2006-07 campaign in Phoenix.
"It's tough, it's not easy, it's a learning experience," said Zigomanis. "Even though I got sent down last year I never gave up and kept playing hard, its all you can do when you get sent down but I know that's in the past now and I am happy to be a Phoenix Coyote."
There are a few open spots up for grabs this season and Zigomanis is making a strong case not to be the odd man out come opening night.