The rumor mill is usually relatively quiet at this time of year, but the trade whispers surrounding Jonathan Quick that began last season simply haven’t gone away. Much of the discussion is likely internal or at least hypothetical, as there is no reason believe there is a solid market for Quick right now, especially given his start to the season. Through two starts, Quick is 0-2 and has allowed a shocking 14 goals on just 56 shots. His .750 save percentage, very bad in its own right, is more than 70 points lower than the next-worst save percentage, while his 7.17 GAA is one of only two in the league over 6.00 early on. When Quick is on his game, he has proven himself to be one of the top goaltenders in the NHL, but after a miserable 2018-19 campaign, he’s off to the wrong start if he wants to show that he can still be that guy. Quick’s early struggles have both local and national hockey pundits weighing in on his future. With backup Jack Campbell coming off a breakout campaign and signed affordably through 2022 and promising collegiate prospect Cal Petersen waiting in the wings, the rebuilding Kings would likely be open to moving Quick and his $5.8MM cap hit through 2023. The question is whether there is a team willing to gamble on Quick’s history and upside at the risk of his injury issues and performance problems. With a change of scenery or perhaps the right coaching staff, Quick’s salary could actually still be a bargain if he gets back to peak form, however unlikely it may seem to some. The Columbus Blue Jackets and Ottawa Senators are the only obvious teams with both the need and cap capacity to add Quick, and neither is likely to pull the trigger on a trade this early in the season. The Kings are likely stuck with him for a while and need to start thinking of different ways to help improve the play of a long-time franchise leader and star.
- Robin Lehner is set to make his first appearance as a member of the Chicago Blackhawks, getting the start on Saturday, and the door is wide open for him to make far more starts moving forward. Through two games, incumbent Corey Crawford is 0-2 with an .875 save percentage and a 4.63 GAA that is third-worst among goalies with multiple starts. It’s a bad start for Crawford after missing considerable time due to injury in each of the past two seasons and performing poorly in the majority of looks he did get last year. Meanwhile, Lehner is a reigning Jennings Trophy winner and Vezina candidate after a dominant season with the New York Islanders. A strong start to his Blackhawks tenure could easily change the status quo of the tandem. Lehner isn’t just fighting for starts this season either; both he and Crawford are impending UFA’s at season’s end and a 28-year-old with a recent history of success is going to have a much better shot at a new long-term commitment than a 35-year-old with a recent history of injury and inconsistency. The first step toward Lehner potentially becoming the main man in net for Chicago for a long time begins tonight.
- After the whistle blew on an intense match-up between the Boston Bruins and Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday, Bruins starter Tuukka Rask limped off the ice with help from his teammates. There was little word from the team as to the extent of Rask’s injury, but he did dress as the backup for their game on Thursday night. Tonight, in what would normally be his regular turn in net, Rask appears ready to go. The long-time Bruin is expected to make the start and The Boston Globe’s Matt Porter relays from head coach Bruce Cassidy that there are no lingering issues from whatever did occur on Tuesday. Rask is 2-0 with just four goals allowed on 63 shots so far. He and backup Jaroslav Halak have both picked up right where they left off last season, as both are in the top ten in save percentage and goals against average early on.