According to Chris Johnston of Sportsnet, the Los Angeles Kings have decided to put Jeff Zatkoff on waivers today, perhaps signalling a callup of Jack Campbell from the AHL or the return of Jonathan Quick a little earlier than expected. Zatkoff hadn’t performed as the Kings had hoped this season, and never seemed to fully recover from an early injury. His .879 save percentage is just simply not good enough for a team trying to make the playoffs.
Campbell on the other hand is playing well at the AHL, finally putting together what was supposed to be a promising career. Drafted 11th overall in 2010, he has spent time in the ECHL as recently as last season. His .913 save percentage for the Ontario Reign isn’t all-star worthy, but it is at least consistent for a player who has often lacked it.
Quick has been out since opening night but has been practicing with the team lately. It wasn’t clear that he was ready to return to game action, but perhaps the club is just waiving Zatkoff in preparation for his return. Quick would be quite a boost to the Kings, who find themselves just out of the playoff picture at the moment.
Brooks Laich has also cleared waivers after being placed on them yesterday. He is currently playing in a game for the Toronto Marlies, and continues to honor his contract there. Laich spoke out about how he wanted to play for another team if the Leafs weren’t going to bring him up, and it seems as though GM Lou Lamoriello was trying to see if someone would take him.
As we wrote about yesterday, retaining 50% of Laich’s salary in any trade for the veteran would actually cause a larger cap-hit on the Maple Leafs than just keeping him buried in the minors, thus he stays down. It seems the biggest chance for Laich would be a rash of injuries to the Maple Leafs down the stretch, forcing them to bring up experience instead of youth from their AHL team. He, Milan Michalek and Colin Greening are all a built in security blanket for the young Maple Leafs.