Kings May Be Without Jonathan Quick For ‘A While’
Los Angeles may be without starting goaltender Jonathan Quick for ‘a while’ according to general manager Dean Lombardi, after the 30-year-old was injured during the first period of the Kings’ season opener against San Jose on Wednesday.
Quick appeared to lose an edge while attempting to perform a slide during the final minute of the first period, and was in noticeable discomfort before withdrawing from the game during the first intermission.
He was replaced by backup goaltender Jeff Zatkoff for the final 40 minutes of the game, which the Sharks won 2-1.
Quick was scheduled to undergo an MRI on Thursday to assess the extent of the injury, currently described only as a lower-body injury, but seems certain to miss Los Angeles home opener on Friday, when Philadelphia visit the Staple Center.
The Milford, Connecticut native went 40-23-5 for the Kings last year, posting a .918 save percentage and 2.22 goals-against average with five shut outs, earning a nomination for the Vezina Trophy.
He has seven years remaining on the 10-year, $58 million mega deal he signed in June 2012.
In Quick’s absence the Kings’ crease will fall to Zatkoff and either veteran puck stopper Peter Budaj or 24-year-old Jack Campbell, who signed a two-year deal shortly after his arrival from Dallas in the summer – though neither goaltender was on the ice during Kings practise on Thursday:
Goalies on the ice at practice: Zatkoff, Ranford. We'll let you know if there are any Quick updates or roster moves.
— Jon Rosen (@lakingsinsider) October 13, 2016
Budaj seems the logical choice given his greater experience and recent success with the AHL Ontario Reign, winning the Baz Bastien Memorial Trophy as the American Hockey League’s best goaltender last year.
The 34-year-old also has nearly 300 games worth of NHL experience to his name following a fourteen-year pro career which included stints with Colorado and Montreal before joining the Kings organisation in 2015.
The Kings specifically sent Budaj back to Ontario early this fall so as to eliminate the risk of losing him on waivers, with some members of the organisation pushing to instate him as Quick’s backup from the get go this year; though former Pittsburgh puck stopper Zatkoff was eventually signed to a two-year $1.8 million deal as an unrestricted free agent, possibly with one eye on next summer’s expansion draft.