Does it make sense for the Los Angeles Kings to part ways with Jonathan Quick this offseason?
The start of the 2019-2020 season could not have gotten off to a worse start for the Los Angeles Kings and Jonathan Quick. Looking to improve upon a down year, the Kings produced a 4-9 record in the first month of play, foreshadowing how the remainder of the year would go.
Quick, 34, played a significant role in why the team was so bad in October, logging a .858 save percentage and 4.55 GAA. He allowed 36 goals in just eight games, including 13 coming from the power play.
If not for October, Quick’s stats would have looked great, as he logged a 2.38 GAA between November and the shutdown in March. Meanwhile, the Kings wanted to see more of what they had in Jack Campbell. The former 2010 first-round pick played fairly well during the 2018-2019 season, recording a .928 save percentage with a 2.30 GAA in 31 games.
Campbell played exceptional in November and January this season, logging a .917 and .912 save percentage, respectively. His performance was good enough for General Manager Rob Blake to pull the trigger on trading him – along with Kyle Clifford – to the Maple Leafs for left-winger Trevor Moore and a third-round pick in this year’s draft.
In Campbell’s place, 2013 fifth-round pick, Calvin Petersen, made eight starts between February and March to close out the year, logging a .938 save percentage and 2.00 GAA in three games during the latter month. So while Quick is technically under contract through the 2022-2023 season, the Kings could potentially net even more draft capital while freeing up some salary cap, assuming they have to eat a portion of his contract.
The Kings find themselves in a rebuild, and if they feel that either the 25-year-old Petersen can handle goaltending duties going forward and/or the team will not be ready to contend again before Quick’s contract expires. It may be best to potentially move on from him this offseason while he still holds a high value.
The LA Kings could also retain him until the trade deadline next year, dealing him to a team desperate for goaltending help and willing to take on his contract.
An overreaction right now would be a buyout, although the Kings would save $2.5M, $2.0M, and $1.5M in each of the next three seasons, then they would be on the hook for $1M each year between 2023 and 2026. Should Quick’s play decline over a full season, then you have that conversation. But not right now.