The Los Angeles Kings have entered rebuild mode. A part of this entails shedding some veteran players and their contracts. The Kings have plenty of such contracts and players, who have not been in their sharpest possible form as of late. With recent moves, the Kings goaltending situation got more interesting. They now have three high-grade netminders signed until at least 2022. This begs the question, is a Jonathan Quick trade imminent?
Breaking Down The Likelihood of a Jonathan Quick Trade
In July, the Kings signed Calvin Petersen to a three-year extension. The 24-year-old is on a two-way contract for the next three seasons, with a very modest cap hit of just over $850,000. Last year, Petersen made 11 appearances with the Kings, 10 being starts. In those, he set a modest record of 5-4-1. He recorded a 2.60 goals-against-average. He also set a very admirable save percentage of .924, although the sample size can be brought into question.
As a result of the small sample size, one can never be sure of Petersen’s progress. He’ll likely see time between both the AHL and NHL next year, after a 2018-19 season that saw him perform well in the top-league but poor in the AHL. His modest contract makes this much easier for the Kings.
Jack Campbell, the Kings other option, has posted outstanding numbers in his NHL tenure thus far. Last season, he set a save percentage of .928, and a goals-against-average of 2.30 in 31 contests. He has sure shown his potential and reliability in the Kings goal crease. He was about to become an unrestricted free agent in 2020, until the team extended his contract. The Kings have now secured his services early until 2022.
Jonathan Quick Trade Nearing?
As the situation looks now, the Los Angeles Kings will start the 2020-21 season with three quality goaltenders on their roster. Something has to give, one would suggest. The next season will be crucial. Quick’s stats last season haven’t been the best. His .888 save percentage along 3,38 GAA were the worst of his career.
If he is going to repeat a mediocre season, the change might become a reality. Still, his $5.8 million-a-year contract until 2023 is one big commodity on the Kings salary cap. For the 2019-20 season, the situation has changed dramatically. Campbell and Petersen have their respective deals expiring in 2020, and only one might win the backup spot alongside Quick. But as the Kings extended both goaltenders ahead of the schedule, it might indicate something.
As the Kings are in a rebuilding phase, should they be that worried about riding Jack Campbell-Cal Petersen duo in the goal crease? Campbell has shown reliability and Petersen a lot of potential. A Jonathan Quick trade has never looked more realistic for Los Angeles, mainly a result of having two quality, high-potential goalies under contract for years now.
Where Will the Kings Go From Here?
It’s still very probable that the Kings start the 2019-20 season with Jonathan Quick as their number one goaltender and Jack Campbell as his backup. Cal Petersen might continue his development in the AHL. However, if the potential trade suitor for Quick calls in with an intriguing offer, the Kings might cede.
A Jonathan Quick trade is certainly closer after the recent Kings moves. However, it would be a massive shock if it materialized in the upcoming days. Nevertheless, as the Trade Deadline nears and the Kings 2019-20 situation unfolds, Jonathan Quick might be on the move.
Are the prevailing performance and salary cap issues enough to deal Quick? In terms of the latter issue, maybe not. The Kings salary cap situation is not as critical as some other teams and Quick’s deal isn’t currently damning to the team. However, he will be 34 in January. He is not getting any younger. He will be 37 when his present contract expires. The Kings might not get a good trade return around that time, but it’s still much possible now. Or during the upcoming season.
One thing is sure. If the Kings pull the trigger on a Jonathan Quick trade soon, they have two valuable netminders ready to split minutes in the Kings goal. In due time, they’ll easily substitute the former two-time Stanley Cup winner.