Could Jonathan Quick’s Time with the Los Angeles Kings be Ending?

Los Angeles Kings, Jonathan Quick #32. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Los Angeles Kings, Jonathan Quick #32. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /

Jonathan Quick’s performance during the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs was nothing short of a goaltending masterclass. Very rarely has a team’s championship been on the back of its goalie as much as the Los Angeles Kings‘ was on Quick’s (honorable mention to Cam Ward and the 2006 Carolina Hurricanes).

With today’s push towards “just good enough“ goaltending for some contending teams, we might be seeing fewer performances like the one that made Quick the greatest goalie in Los Angeles Kings franchise history. He would add a second Stanley Cup ring in 2014.

Could Quick’s time in Hollywood be coming to an end? His numbers are far off from those glorious Cup-winning years, as he has a 3.41 goals against average and a 0.881 save percentage this season.

For comparison, in that 2012 Cup year, he had a magnificent 1.95 goals against average and a .929 save percentage. Yes, the Kings were playing a different brand of hockey back then not based on speed and scoring, but that’s still a pretty rapid decline.

Is Jonathan Quick’s time with the Los Angeles Kings over?

The Kings seemingly have Quick’s replacement locked up in Cal Peterson, who’s under contract for two more seasons after this at a $5 million average annual value.

Los Angeles also re-signed previous third-string goalie turned season saver Pheonix Copley to a one-year contract at the bargain price of $1.5 million, while Quick is a pending unrestricted free agent.

Copley hasn’t given the Kings any reason to not re-sign him. That contract did unfortunately make the franchise legend extra expendable. With two goalies secured, it might be the perfect time for Quick and the Kings to part ways.

It’s happening almost organically considering he’s on an expiring contract.

If Quick has to leave the 90210 (I’m sure there are other Los Angeles area zip codes), there should be a sizeable market for his services, even in his own division.

The rebuilding Anaheim Ducks could use a veteran netminder as a short-term stopgap. Former goaltender Ryan Miller had a similar tenure with the team. That’s especially true if the long-rumored trade for John Gibson finally happens.

Quick won’t be in a position to get his third championship in Anaheim, but it’s a familiar area and media market, and at this stage in his career, not having to entirely move his family might be a great selling point.

Then there’s the NHL’s 32nd franchise, the Seattle Kraken. Reclamation project Martin Jones is sixth in the NHL entering Tuesday with 23 wins for a Seattle team poised to make the playoffs for the first time in franchise history.

He’s also on a one-year contract and without the stats that would make Seattle believe he’s their long-term answer in net as Philip Grubauer continues to struggle.

Maybe the Kraken will go from one veteran to another and bring Quick to the Emerald City (yeah, fun fact, Seattle has the same nickname as the city in “Wizard of Oz”, but instead of a wizard, there’s Pike Place Fish Market).

What if the Connecticut native wants to head closer to home? The Boston Bruins crease is seemingly locked up for the foreseeable future with the tandem of Linus Ullmark and Jeremy Swayman.

All three New York City area teams could be potential suitors. The New York Rangers backup Jaroslav Halak is on a one-year contract.

New York Islanders “1B” Semyon Varlamov is in the last year of a four-year deal, and general manager Lou Lamoriello isn’t exactly staying away from older players. The New Jersey Devils backup Mackenzie Blackwood is a restricted free agent, but with questions about his health.

There is still the very real possibility that Los Angeles re-signs Quick, even if it’s just for insurance. Copley’s win-loss record of 17-3-1 might be great, but not great enough to hide his serviceable, but not “elite” or even “better than average” 2.74 goals against average and .903 save percentage lurking behind it.

That’s not even considering the fact Peterson has been stashed in the AHL almost all season.

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The era of those Kings Cup-winning teams is slowly ending. Players like Quick, Drew Doughty, and Anze Kopitar are a few of the last remnants and keystone pieces who formed a bridge from Los Angeles’s not-so-distant past to their future. Now, another one might be leaving the Los Angeles ice.