Ryan S. ClarkNHL reporter4 minute read
Two-time Stanley Cup-winning goaltender Jonathan Quick will be traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets, a source told ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski on Wednesday.
Quick is dealt to Columbus with a first-round pick and a 2023 third-round pick for defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov and goaltender Joonas Korpisalo, the source said.
Quick, 37, who backed the Los Angeles Kings’ only NHL title runs in 2012 and 2014, backed Pheonix Copley in a 6-5 win over the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday night before being told that he was traded.
As the Kings’ jockey for Western Conference playoff positioning, currently tied with the Vegas Golden Knights for first place in the Pacific Division with 76 points, Copley had succeeded Quick, three-time All-Star, as the number 1 of the club. 1 goalkeeper.
One of the most decorated American-born goaltenders in NHL history, Quick is third overall on this list with 370 career wins, behind John Vanbiesbrouck and Ryan Miller. The Connecticut native carries a salary cap of $5.8 million and will be an unrestricted free agent in July.
Korpisalo, 28, meanwhile, carries a reasonable salary cap of $1.3 million in the final year of his contract and will likely support Conley in Los Angeles. He’s 11-11-3 with a 3.17 goals-against average and .913 save percentage this season.
He’s had playoff success before, as evidenced in the 2020 playoffs in the Toronto bubble when he made 85 saves in a 3-2 win and five overtimes over eventual Stanley Cup champion Tampa. Bay Lightning in a first-round series.
But what made Korpisalo a potential trade target was the Blue Jackets’ long-term situation in net. They have Elvis Merzlikins in the first of a five-year deal and another promising goaltender, Daniil Tarasov, playing for their AHL affiliate.
Gavrikov, 27, is a stable, homebody defender who has attracted interest from several teams. He is in the final year of his contract with a salary cap of $2.8 million.
What made Gavrikov attractive to teams was the fact that he was among the Blue Jackets’ leaders in ice time at 5-on-5 and can be used to anchor a shorthanded unit. Before being traded out of the lineup, Gavrikov had three goals and 10 points in 52 games while averaging 22:20 in ice time.
Finding a way to solve their defensive problems was a main narrative surrounding the Kings’ entry into the trade deadline, with Tuesday’s game serving as an example. The Kings had to pull themselves together from a two-goal first-period deficit to beat the Jets. While the win kept them level with the Golden Knights, it also served as yet another reminder of what has been a problem all season long.
It was initially believed that the Kings were interested in Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun, but the Coyotes’ asking price was deemed too high.
A third-round pick in 2005, Quick was part of the Kings’ youth movement that also included Dustin Brown, Drew Doughty and Anze Kopitar. Together, the group broke through to win two Stanley Cups. But while Kopitar remained a top-six center and Doughty a top-notch defender, Quick began to struggle. The Kings entered this season with Quick and Cal Petersen, who was in the first of a three-year extension worth $5 million a year. Quick has won seven of its first 16 starts but has a 3.31 GAA and .890 save percentage in 2022-23.
Petersen fared no better, posting a 3.75 GAA and .868 save percentage, which led the Kings to place him on waivers and send him to their AHL affiliate. They promoted Copley from the AHL, and he’s 17-4-2 with a 2.74 GAA and .901 save percentage.