The Los Angeles Kings just capped off a brilliant postseason run that resulted in the club’s first Stanley Cup title in franchise history. With a run like that, there are obviously no shortage of contributors. That doesn’t mean it’s difficult to pick out the player that’s most valuable to this team.
Plain and simple: without Jonathan Quick, there’s no Stanley Cup in Los Angeles. Heck, without Jonathan Quick, the Kings are likely watching the Stanley Cup Playoffs from their couch.
Quick had a phenomenal regular season. He posted 10 shutouts and stole quite a few games for the Kings, who were offensively challenged for much of the year. His play, along with a good blue line in front of him, helped the Kings to rank second in the National Hockey League in team defense.
That’s a trend that continued into the postseason. Quick took home the Conn Smythe Trophy as the MVP of the playoffs and I doubt you’ll find anyone that disagrees with that decision. Quick led the Kings to a 16-4 record in the playoffs. That’s good on its own. But consider the fact that they allowed just 30 goals in those 20 games. That’s absolutely absurd.
The Kings don’t have much to worry about this summer as far as their roster goes. They’ll return almost the entire team, with Quick and the whole blue line coming back. The only question marks at this point are Dustin Penner, who is likely gone to cash in somewhere else, Dwight King(restricted), Jarret Stoll, and Colin Fraser. None of those guys scream “key player”.
That lack of turnover on the roster will allow Dean Lombardi to focus on what his summer priority: locking up Jonathan Quick for the long term. Quick is set to become a free agent after next season and will cost a pretty penny, especially if he ends up hitting the market next summer. Which is very doubtful.
Quick might just be the best goaltender in the league. If not, he’s in the top few. He’s going to be paid like it, and I have a hard time imagining the Kings allowing anyone else to be the ones to pay him like the elite goaltender that he is. I expect there to be discussion about an extension at some point this summer, if not an actual deal.
The Kings do have some money coming off of the books next summer, which frees up a bit of money for a potential extension for Quick. Lombardi will have to get creative, though, if Quick is to be paid like the top few goaltenders in the league. Even with the big dollars involved, Lombardi and the Kings are going to make this a priority and we should see a Jonathan Quick extension in the somewhat near future.