The Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings have had a good start to the offseason—for the most part. They had a good draft, re-signed Marian Gaborik to a long-term contract and locked up Matt Greene. The team looks just as strong, if not stronger heading into the 2014-15 season than it did in the previous five years.
However, injuries and lingering health issues are always a concern, even in the offseason. Two L.A. players underwent surgery on the same day in late June to address injuries sustained during the playoffs.
Jonathan Quick underwent wrist surgery on June 24, according to Greg Wyshynski of Yahoo Sports. The injury was sustained in the second round of the playoffs against the Anaheim Ducks and it wasn't considered serious, as Quick didn't miss any playing time.
But, an MRI after the playoffs ended revealed surgery would be needed, and Quick is set to miss 10 to 12 weeks while he recovers. That means no time on the ice, according to Wyshynski, and the timetable means he would be back at the start of training camp if all goes well.
Quick has dealt with a few different injuries in recent years. He missed a few months of action this past season due to a strained groin. And after the Kings won the Stanley Cup in 2012, Quick underwent back surgery, but luckily he didn't miss any time because of the lockout, which delayed the start of the season.
Dennis Bernstein of The Fourth Period suggests the Kings may look for veteran help in goal, in case Quick misses more time than expected.
Kings looking at veteran goalie as precaution in case Quick isn't ready to start season off wrist rehab. Voukoun/Khabibulin being considered— Dennis Bernstein (@DennisTFP) July 8, 2014
Given their lack of cap space, the Kings will likely wait until late in the summer before considering making such a move. Martin Jones has proven he can handle himself at the NHL level, at least for a short stretch of time.
Kyle Clifford also underwent wrist surgery to repair a broken bone, according to Jon Rosen of LA Kings Insider. He’s expected to miss less time than Quick, with just six to eight weeks of recovery time.
Clifford had just three goals and five assists for eight points in 71 games in the 2013-14 season. His production increased in the playoffs, as he notched one goal and six assists for seven points in 24 games.
Clifford has played on a number of different lines in recent years but is usually at his best on the fourth line. At 6’2”, 211 pounds, the 23-year-old winger makes his presence known in all three zones and isn't afraid to drop the gloves.
The best-case scenario is obviously both players being healthy and ready to go for training camp. But even if they were without a player or two, the Kings are one of the few teams deep enough to handle the absence of just about any player, even Quick.
Stats courtesy of NHL.com.