LA Kings: Five most important players for 2021 season

LA Kings (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
LA Kings (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /
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LA Kings Cal Petersen
LA Kings (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

Cal Petersen

Jonathan Quick still has three years left on a contract that carries a $5.8 million cap hit per season, but he turns 35 in January and his days as an above-average netminder look like they may be over. His .904 save percentage last season was an improvement on the atrocious .888 mark he posted the previous year, but still not particularly good.

The Kings have not yet shown a willingness to buy out their iconic goalie, the way the New York Rangers did with Henrik Lundqvist in September. Quick’s contract, age, and recent performance also make him pretty much untradeable at the moment.

So, the best path forward for the Kings might be if Cal Petersen can play well enough to justify at least splitting the crease with Quick and hope the veteran’s play can improve with a lighter workload.

The 26-year-old Petersen has shown promise in limited NHL action, owning a .923 save percentage in 19 games with the Kings over the past two seasons. He was expected to get a good amount of playing time toward the end of last year after Jack Campbell was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs in part to make room for Petersen. But the pandemic cut the Kings’ season short.

It is time for the Kings to begin figuring out what their post-Quick goaltending situation will look like. Petersen will get the first crack at showing he should be part of those plans.