LA Kings: Three thoughts on Jonathan Quick trade speculation

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

LA Kings netminder Jonathan Quick is reportedly drawing interest as we approach the April 12 trade deadline. Three thoughts surrounding the rumors.

It feels like Jonathan Quick‘s days in an LA Kings uniform are numbered. Whether it be at the April 12 trade deadline, the Seattle expansion draft, or an offseason deal, the future Hall of Famer is likely not to see the remainder of his contract in Los Angeles. And as teams are gearing up for the playoffs in the shortened 2021 season, solid goaltending cannot be overvalued.

According to NHL Network’s Kevin Weekes, interest is reportedly heating up on the 35-year-old Kings netminder, among other goaltenders.

Three Quick thoughts if the LA Kings work out a trade before the April 12 deadline.

1. The Kings will surely have to retain some of Quick’s salary

Jonathan Quick signed a ten-year, $58M contract extension in July 2012, just over a month after putting the franchise on his back en route to the Kings’ first Stanley Cup Championship. Quick still has two years left on his deal at a $5.8M cap hit per season. If a deal is made with another club, expect Los Angeles to retain about half. Retaining salary is not a foreign concept, and certainly, $2.9M each year for the next two seasons is fairly easy to stomach considering the Kings will have Dion Phaneuf ($4.1M) and Ilya Kovalchuk’s ($6.3M) contracts coming off the books at the end of the year.

2. The return has to be right

Plain and simple. The Kings don’t need another draft pick. A quick look ahead to the 2021 NHL Draft, Los Angeles owns nine picks in the first six rounds. Last year, they had 11 picks entering draft night. It’s no secret the LA Kings have the best prospect pool in the NHL, but they need to start seeing some of those players become permanent players at the NHL level. I hate comparing the two, but look at Anaheim recently promoting Trevor Zegras and Jamie Drysdale. The Kings have to get a close-to-ready NHL prospect in a Jonathan Quick trade, preferably a defenseman.

3. Who becomes the long-term backup?

If Quick is dealt before the April 12 deadline, the Kings’ goaltending depth becomes unclear. Quick’s immediate successor is likely Troy Grosenick, as the 31-year-old already made a start this season. The problem is that Grosenick is a free agent at season’s end. He’d likely be a fairly inexpensive re-sign, but another team could overvalue his services.

Cal Petersen has more than proven himself to be a permanent NHL netminder. Still, if Grosenick doesn’t return next year, the Kings are probably looking at Matt Villalta or Jacob Ingham — or forced to sign a free agent — as their backup. Ingham is still only 20 years of age and needs regular starts.

Another element is the Kings must leave a goalie exposed for Seattle. What does that look like?