Not long after the shocking deal that sent Jonathan Quick to the Columbus Blue Jackets, the two-time Stanley Cup champion goaltender now finds himself the newest member of the Vegas Golden Knights.
The series of trades began after the Kings’ 6-5 shootout win over the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday, Feb. 28. Later that night the unforeseen trade was announced. The Los Angeles Kings sent franchise legend goalie, Jonathan Quick, a conditional first-round pick in the 2023 draft, and a 2024 third-round pick to Columbus for goalie Joonas Korpisalo and defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov.
To call the trade shocking is an understatement. While Quick hasn’t put up the best numbers this season, he’s in the final year of his contract and most fans assumed he would retire as a King.
Shortly after the trade was announced Frank Seravalli reported, “To say Jonathan Quick is unhappy with the trade is an understatement.” And understandably so. Quick was the backbone of the Kings for both Stanley Cup runs and didn’t want to miss out on another opportunity to make a deep run.
Quick saw that opportunity almost vanish as he was moved to Columbus, the team that currently sits dead last in the NHL. It wouldn’t be long until Quick requested out of Columbus meaning another trade was likely.
Why LA Made the trade
There’s no doubt, Quick will go down as the best goalie in Kings’ franchise history. However, age and injuries seem to have caught up to the legendary goalie and he’s struggled in recent seasons.
Quick currently has an 11-13-4 record with a .876 save percentage. The Kings’ biggest issues this season have been between the pipes. The plan was to move Cal Petersen into the starting role but he was sent down to the AHL after struggling out of the gate this season.
Pheonix Copley has put up good numbers for LA in a surprising season however, it would be risky to rely on him for a deep playoff run. GM Rob Blake decided the team needed a stable goalie and set his sights on Korpisalo.
Korpisalo has managed to put up a .911 save percentage this season despite being on one of the worst teams in the league. It should be interesting to see how he performs behind a team that has a better defensive structure.
Trade to Vegas
It wouldn’t be long before Quick got his wish. The Blue Jackets have sent Quick to Vegas for goalie Michael Hutchinson and a 2025 seventh-round pick. Columbus is also retaining 50% of Quick’s salary.
The move makes sense for Vegas with the team needing a goalie with Logan Thompson still being out with an injury. Vegas currently sits first in the Pacific with 78 points. The division is still up for grabs, however, and Vegas wants to remain atop the division by the season’s end.
Despite Quick’s lackluster numbers this season, it’s known Quick will always dial his game up during the playoffs. With his experience winning two cups, Quick might be Vegas’ best option in net for playoffs even if Thompson makes a full recovery.
With the Kings sitting second in the division, there’s a slight chance that both teams face off during the playoffs. Seeing Quick play against LA in the postseason is something very few Kings fans thought they’d ever see.
Quick’s Legacy in LA
Like Brown, Kopitar, and Doughty, Quick played a crucial role in both Stanley Cup victories in 2012 and 2014. Quick won the Conn Smythe trophy in 2012 as the playoff MVP and put up a .946 save percentage in 20 games played. Quick also ended that run with a 16-4 record. Kings’ franchise records in wins(370), games played (743), and shutouts (57) all belong to Quick.
Despite his struggles over the past couple of seasons, once Quick announces his retirement he’ll likely join Dustin Brown up in the rafters of Crypto.com Arena.
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