Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick recently led his team to the first Stanley Cup in the history of the franchise, capturing the Conn Smythe in the process.
When all was said and done his playoffs goals-against average of 1.41 and save percentage of .926 were some of the best numbers in the history of the Stanley Cup playoffs. The Kings rode their goaltender hard in 2012, and for that he was awarded a 10-year contract extension worth, according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie, somewhere between $55 and $60 million.
The Kings' Stanley Cup victory is still fresh in the minds of the Kings’ fans and franchise. They remain bathed in the afterglow of that win, but when that warm and fuzzy feeling wears off and the reality of the situation hits them, they will find out that they have made a big mistake with this signing.
The deal won’t kick in until the 2013 season; for this season Quick will make $1.8 million as he is in the last year of the deal he signed for the 2010-11 season. While that dollar amount and term seem to be for less than what Quick is worth, those numbers are probably closer to reality than the 10-year term of his new deal.
There’s no doubt that Quick had a great season in 2012—he was up for the Vezina, he won the Conn Smythe and some say he should have been up for the Hart Trophy as the league’s MVP for the performance he put together to get the Kings into the playoffs.
I can’t argue with that—he had a great year, but it was just that—a great year, a single, solitary year and it’s a huge risk to throw him a 10-year deal based on that one year.
In the three seasons leading up to the 2012 campaign, the best GAA Quick posted was 2.24 and the best save percentage of his career was .914. These are good numbers, but not great.
Los Angeles Kings general manager Dean Lombardi dropped the ball on this deal. This contract is a feel-good contract based on a single year’s performance and the hope that Quick will be able to deliver more of the same over the term of the deal.
Maybe Lombardi’s hands were tied, maybe the pressure to lock Quick up became too much for him. Whatever the case is, he should have waited to see how Quick performed in the upcoming season before he locked him up long term.
Yes, that would have been a risky proposition, but isn’t throwing a 10-year deal at Quick also a risky proposition? It looks even riskier when you see that the team will have more than $30 million tied up in just five players: Quick, Mike Richards, Anze Kopitar, Jeff Carter and Drew Doughty.
I know this deal seems good now, but it’s too much, too soon for one great season.