The Los Angeles Kings are not a team to beat for the upcoming season. To get back to the winning ways, the Kings front office has to solve a few questions first. One of these matters is the situation of their goaltenders. The Los Angeles Kings goaltending situation is far apart from being clear as of a few seasons before. Ahead of the 2019-20 season, the Kings have three reliable goaltenders. As of the 2020 offseason, the situation looks even more interesting. The Kings have some decisions to make. Let’s see what lies ahead for the Kings goaltenders.
Los Angeles Kings Goaltending Interesting Situation
The Kings fans are used to Jonathan Quick as their number one goaltender. Last season, Quick had a terrible year and the Kings followed suit. His .888 save percentage alongside 3,38 GAA were the worst of his career. In addition to that, Quick is not getting any younger. It seems like Quick’s days of leading the Kings to two Stanley Cups are far behind him. Perhaps, he can bounce back.
Before Jonathan Quick´s case is resolved, there are two quality candidates to replace him. Are they that ready to replace Quick even right now? Looking at Quick´s numbers from the past season, one would have to think that the Kings cannot go much worse. Jack Campbell has emerged as a very strong candidate to take over the Kings crease.
Meanwhile, Cal Petersen has raised his hand as if he had something to say. Looking ahead to next offseason, the Los Angeles Kings situation looks intriguing. The Kings potentially have three solid goalies in their system. Something has to give. Or at least somebody will have to, for sure. Will the Kings stay patient or will they try to make a move in the upcoming days or weeks? Only time will tell.
Three Netminders Fight For Two Spots
Commencing the 2019-20 season for the Kings doesn’t mean just a rebuild time. It also becomes a very interesting time once we take a deeper look at their goal crease. Jonathan Quick had a season to forget. Nevertheless, he is still a very good netminder with a ton of experience. His stats from the past season are bad, to say the least, but his overall career stats are still very good. Quick has appeared in 602 NHL regular-season games posting the GAA of 2,36 and the save percentage of .914.
Still, as mentioned, he is not getting any younger. The 33-year-old netminder may have already played his best hockey. Maybe the last season was just an anomaly and Quick will bounce back in a big way. As Quick struggled with injuries and bad performances, the Kings gave an opportunity to Jack Campbell. Last year, Campbell appeared in 31 games, mainly in the late stage of the season. He managed to post very solid numbers. His save percentage reached .928 and the GAA was at 2,30. For a backup goaltender playing on the non-playoff team at the end of the regular season, those were pretty solid stats. Campbell has earned a job with the Kings this season.
At least he has proven to be a very reliable backup goaltender. Cal Petersen has made 11 appearances with the Kings mainly in the early stages of the regular season. His save percentage of .924 and the GAA of 2,60 indicated that the 24-year-old goalie might be nearly ready for more action in the future.
Jonathan Quick´s Future
While Cal Petersen and Jack Campbell look like the future, Quick is established. However, it seems like Quick’s days in LA could be numbered if he can’t bounce back from last year’s performance. On the other hand, if he can return to his past form, he is still a very solid number one goalie in the NHL. But Quick is not going to be there forever and the Kings have felt that during the past season.
Quick was drafted in the third round of the 2005 NHL Draft. He made his NHL debut in 2008. Cal Petersen took a bit longer to develop. It took him more than five years to make his debut. Admittedly, Petersen was more of a project being selected in the fifth round in 2013 by the Buffalo Sabres. Jack Campbell is a former 11th overall choice in 2010 by the Dallas Stars.
There have been some rumblings around that the Columbus Blue Jackets might circle back on the possibility of acquiring Quick. As of now, the Blue Jackets have two goaltenders for their NHL roster, Elvis Merzlikins, and Joonas Korpisalo. Is it too early for the Kings to go with the combo of Campbell and Petersen? Probably yes.
Should the Kings explore the option of trading Quick, they wouldn’t just be trading a very reliable goaltender who has won the Conn Smythe Trophy and the two Stanley Cups. They would also trade his $5,800,000 salary cap hit for the next four seasons. Assuming Quick doesn’t return to the form from the last campaign, Quick might still possess a high trade value. The Kings need to keep their ears open to any potential suitors for Quick.
Los Angeles Kings Goaltending of 2020
The Los Angeles Kings goaltending position as of 2020 offseason gets even more interesting. Assuming there are no moves, Jonathan Quick will still be three years away from the free agency. He will be 34-years-old by that time. His salary-cap hit is $5,800,000 per campaign, although that´s not the biggest salary cap issue for the Kings. That might change in the future, of course. Cal Petersen just signed a three-year contract extension until 2022. His deal will be a two-way contract for the next season, that means the Kings can decide whether they will use him in Ontario in the AHL or the NHL.
However, for the 2020-21 and 2021-22 seasons, Petersen´s contract will be a one-way deal. Jack Campbell, who has been able to post solid numbers over the past few months, will become an unrestricted free agent next summer. The Kings need to address his long term future with the team also.
The Kings will have to choose. As it stands right now, Quick´s performances are slipping while Campbell and Petersen provide effective competition for the 33-year-old netminder. Projecting the 2020 offseason scenario for the Kings, they might have three solid goalies. There is only room for two.
Assessing the Los Angeles Kings Goaltending Scenario
The Kings cannot keep all the three goaltenders in this situation. Something´s got to give. The Kings have to think of what is best for the team long term. Campbell is six years younger than Quick and Petersen is nine years younger.
If the Kings are willing to make more moves, there are options left. Either with potentially trading Quick this summer or simply trading him during the season or next offseason. Or frankly maintaining the status quo with Jonathan Quick and deciding who will be the backup goalie for the Kings beyond 2020.
If Los Angeles doesn’t see any future trade as a real possibility, then they will have to stay put. The Kings do have some time, however. A decision can be made next year. If Los Angeles decides to count on the Quick-Petersen duo for beyond 2020, they won´t let Campbell walk away for free next July. And vice-versa.
For the next season, it appears as the most probable current scenario that the Kings will roll with Quick as their starter and Campbell as their backup goalie. Cal Petersen will continue his development in the AHL. This wait-and-see strategy would also seem like the most rational one. Nevertheless, the need for a decision of some sort looms over the next summer.
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