Skip to main content

Jason Muzzatti

At one end of the ice stands Martin Brodeur, arguably the greatest goaltender of all time.

On the other end stands Jason Muzzatti, a goalie most people have never heard of.

This exact scenario more or less bookends Jason Muzzatti's career nicely.

Muzzatti was an intense goaltending prospect who starred at Michigan State University. A first round pick of the Calgary Flames (1988), Muzzatti only played two games with the Flames due to their strong goaltending depth.

Muzzatti ripened in the minor leagues for four years. He finally got a chance to be a NHL regular in 1995 when the Hartford Whalers claimed him off of waivers as the season began.

Though he was a battle-tested minor league veteran, he would find mixed results with the Whalers. In two seasons he would participate in 53 games, winning just 13.

Perhaps the highlight of his NHL career came on the night of April 4th, 1996. That night Muzzatti stopped all 40 shots against Marty Brodeur's New Jersey Devils in a 1-0 win - the only NHL shutout in Muzzatti's career.

The skies over Muzzatti's career would quickly darken. The next season he bounced around to the minor leagues before making brief appearances with the New York Rangers and San Jose Sharks.

Then in 1998-99 his career was in serious jeopardy as he had minor heart surgery, costing him most of the season. By the time he was cleared to play he was unable to find any takers.

Muzzatti headed to Europe to play for the better part of the next decade. After stops in Germany and Finland, he found a home in Italy for five seasons.

Muzzatti also gained his Italian citizenship, and since he had never represented Canada at any international tournament he was able to play for Italy with much success, winning three national championships plus to 2005 B-Pool World Championships.

Thanks to Muzzatti's goaltending Italy graduated to the A Pool at the World Hockey Championships in 2006 and 2007. Muzzatti was also Italy's starting goalie at the 2006 Olympics in Torino, Italy. He was able to help the home nation tie games against Germany and Switzerland.

But the highlight for Muzzatti personally came when he squared off against the NHL superstars from Canada, including Marty Brodeur in net.

Unlike ten years earlier, Muzzatti would not best Brodeur with a 1-0 win. Canada would win handily at 7-2.

Muzzatti returned to North America's minor leagues to play for the Flint Generals for one season before becoming a head coach - a bit of a rarity among the goaltending fraternity.

Despite earning a degree in finance Muzzatti has chosen to stay in hockey. He created his own goaltending instructional camp while volunteering as a goalie coach back at Michigan State.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

100 Greatest Hockey Players Of All Time

What follows is a listing of the 100 greatest hockey players of all time, in my opinion. As discussed earlier, the definition of greatness is a very personalized endeavor and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it.
While there is no way of ever truly ranking the top 100 definitively, it is important for the creators of such lists to be open and transparent of how the came to their conclusions. That accountability allows the reader to better understand the process. 

Although admittedly I'm using a completely unscientific formula, I weigh career achievements (era statistics, awards, championships) and legacy (impact on and off ice, peak dominance) equally high. I rank player ability as the third most important ingredient, as first and foremost as a tie breaker. Hence, I'm not necessarily looking for the better player, as in text book definitions of what a hockey player should be, but for players with the greatest careers and greatest legacies. Therefore the best player is not n…

Top Ten Junior Players Of All Time

Let's take a look at the Top Ten junior players of all time. For the purposes of this list we will at players in the WHL, OHL and QMJHL only.

10. Pat Lafontaine, Verdun, QMJHL Rookie-record 104 goals, 234 points in 1982-83; major junior player of the year.

9. Denis Potvin, Ottawa, OHL 254 games, 95 goals, 234 assists, 329 points. Broke Bobby Orr's junior records.

8. John Tavares, Oshawa, OHL 215 goals, 433 points in 247 games; most goals in OHL history; eligibility rules changed to admit him at 15; 2006 major junior rookie of the year, 2007 major junior player of the year; two world juniors, named 2009 all-star, top forward and MVP.

7. Sidney Crosby, Rimouski, QMJHL 120 goals, 303 points in 121 games; two-time major junior player of the year; silver and gold with Canada at two world juniors.

6. Eric Lindros, Oshawa, OHL 97 goals, 216 points in 95 games; one Memorial Cup victory; three world junior tournaments; major junior player of the year in 1991.

5. Mike Bossy, Laval, Q…

Greatest Hockey Legends: M