The LA Kings Goalie Controversy No One Saw Coming

LA Kings (Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports)
LA Kings (Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports) /
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On opening night of the 2022-23 season, the LA Kings were going to employ franchise legend Jonathan Quick and Cal Petersen on the main roster, with Pheonix Copley starting the campaign with the Ontario Reign in the AHL. Of course, adversity lurks around every corner, leading Petersen to struggle in the early going with a 5-3-2 record in ten games, a subpar .868 save percentage (SV%), and a 3.40 goals-against average (GAA), resulting in a demotion back to the Reign.

Ultimately, the starter’s role was Quick’s to lose, and as the greatest goalie the Kings’ have ever employed, he had to play badly to lose the job to Copley, who was back in the NHL, swapping places with Petersen. Statistically, Quick was on par for his third losing season since 2018-19 with an 11-13-4 record to go along with a career-low .876 SV% and career-worse 3.48 GAA. Meanwhile, Copley was allowed to be a starter for the first time in the NHL and did not disappoint with an 18-4-2 record, a .899 SV%, and 2.62 GAA at the time of the trade deadline on Mar. 1, 2023.

As the Kings went into the final month and a half of the season fighting for the Pacific Division and a top seed in the Western Conference, they felt an upgrade with the goaltenders was necessary. So general manager Rob Blake acquired Joonas Korpisalo from the Columbus Blue Jackets in a blockbuster deal that ended Quick’s tenure in Los Angeles.