The Los Angeles Kings hope that at the end of their goaltender’s new contract they can say, “that was Quick!” The Kings, still high on their Stanley Cup Championship, awarded goaltender Jonathan Quick a ten year, 58 million dollar extension. The deal, which will be signed July first, comes despite the evidence that long-term contracts, especially for goalies, are a gamble not worth taking. The Kings will have to live with Quick through it all over the next ten years.
Several goalies have received long term contracts since the implementation of the salary cap after the 2004-2005 lockout. Rick DiPietro’s 87.5 million dollar contract has handcuffed the New York Islanders from being able to improve. DiPietro’s injuries and inability to return to form have left Islanders’ fans bemoaning the deal.
The Vancouver Canucks 12 year deal to Roberto Luongo has made them vulnerable to a poor trade now that Cory Schneider has eclipsed Luongo as the number one goaltender. Ilya Bryzgalov is the most comparable to Quick, as his playoff success earned him a nine year contract from the Philadelphia Flyers before his mental stability wilted in the public spotlight.
There is no doubt Quick is currently one of the best goaltenders in the league. He just capped off one of the greatest playoff campaigns by a goaltender ever, with 16 wins in 20 postseason games, a 1.41 goals against average and three shutouts. He also finished second in the Viezna Trophy voting behind Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers for best regular season goaltender in the NHL. Quick’s skill in net deserved the kind of contract he earned, but will it be sustained success?
Goaltenders are the most temperamental of all positions in sports. They have to be completely focused, and not hindered by injuries, to stop 100 mile an hour pucks from finding the back of the net. If he is hurt or loses that focus, Jonathan Quick may not live up to his contract and leave the Kings in a tight place. So far, the long term goaltender contract has not worked. However, the Kings championship crown came from this goaltender.