News | 7/29/2013 3:28:03 PM | Rob Crean
|Photo: Micheline Veluvolu
Center Mike Zigomanis, who signed an American Hockey League contract with the Amerks on July 10, will be jumping to the other side of one of the AHL’s fiercest rivalries this season. Zigomanis, a veteran of 12 professional seasons, spent the last four years with the Toronto Marlies, Rochester’s North Divisional rival and the team that has ended each of the last two Amerks seasons.
Zigomanis, 32, recorded 35 points (7+28) in 64 games last season before adding nine points (2+7) in nine Calder Cup Playoff games. In 197 career NHL games with Carolina, St. Louis, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, and Toronto, the 6-foot, 200-pound Zigomanis has registered 40 points (21+19) and 89 penalty minutes. The native of Toronto, Ontario, has also played in 524 AHL games with Lowell, Peoria, San Antonio and Toronto, recording 413 points (143+270) and 379 penalty minutes.
Most Amerks fans know Zigomanis for his ability to score clutch goals, win crucial face-offs and skate on both the power play and penalty kill units. Here are a few more noteworthy nuggets to help Amerks fans get better acquainted with the team’s newest player:
1. As good as Zigomanis has been on the ice in recent years, he has done even more good work in the community. Last season, he was honored with the 2012-13 Yanick Dupre Memorial Award as the AHL Man of the Year for his outstanding contributions to his community and charitable organizations. Among his endeavors were leading his teammates in a visit to a Toronto area children’s hospital, providing suite tickets to underprivileged kids and spending time with them after games, practicing with local youth hockey teams, and visiting schools. According to the Marlies, Zigomanis “has consistently led by example, taking the time during every community event to interact with fans around the rink, hospital or school.”
2. Zigomanis has his named engraved on the Stanley Cup, winning it as a member of the 2008-09 Pittsburgh Penguins. After being acquired in a trade from the Phoenix Coyotes, Zigomanis scored six points in 22 games with Pittsburgh that season. He is one of 25 players from that year’s Penguins squad whose name now appears on Lord Stanley’s Cup.
3. Over the last two seasons, Zigomanis has put up impressive numbers against the Amerks. In 25 total games versus Rochester during that span, he has recorded 24 points on seven goals and 17 assists. Six of those points (3 goals, 3 assists) have come in the six postseason meetings between the Marlies and Amerks, with 18 points (4 goals, 14 assists) coming in 19 regular season outings.
4. While many hockey players have strong connections to their jersey numbers, Zigomanis does not appear to be among them. In four seasons with the Marlies, he wore three different numbers: 17 during his first two campaigns, 93 during the 2011-12 season and then 7 last season. Over the course of his career, Zigomanis has worn 10 different numbers while suiting up for nine different NHL/AHL teams.
5. The AHL Man of the Year Award that Zigomanis took home last season was not the first honor he’s received during his hockey career for the way he conducts himself. He was also named the Ontario Hockey League’s Most Gentlemanly Player in 1999-00 while playing for the Kingston Frontenacs. On the ice, Zigomanis posted 330 points (132+198) in 240 games in the OHL.