Jonathan Quick never really did join the Columbus Blue Jackets. After this week’s trade, the veteran goaltender was immediately back on the market, following some reports that he was blindsided and upset about being traded from the Los Angeles Kings.
He didn’t make much sense for the Blue Jackets, given their current situation, so they have quickly found him a new home. Columbus has negotiated a deal with the Vegas Golden Knights to send Quick back to the Pacific Division. The Blue Jackets will receive Michael Hutchinson and a 2025 seventh-round pick, while retaining 50% of Quick’s contract.
Given how little Columbus received in this deal, it seems like more of a favor than anything to a veteran goaltender who didn’t want to join a losing team for the last few months of the season.
A 2025 seventh-round pick is about the lowest-valued asset you can receive, and Hutchinson is on an expiring deal that will be of little use to the Blue Jackets.
What this trade does set up, however, is a potential matchup between Quick and the Kings in the playoffs. With question marks around the health of Logan Thompson and Laurent Brossoit, there is a real chance that Quick gets playing time in Vegas, and potentially some revenge on the team that he believed he would spend his entire career with.
The question now is whether Quick has any effective hockey left in him. The 37-year-old has been bad this season, posting an .876 save percentage in 31 appearances, and has an .896 over his past five seasons combined. Perhaps the Golden Knights can find a way to unlock prime Quick for a few months, but it seems unlikely at this point.