Over at ESPN (paywall), Craig Custance took an in-depth look at the LA Kings roster and had an interesting sidebar on goalie Jonathan Quick:
Quick is set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, 2013. When I spoke with his agent, George Bazos, from Edge Sports Management, I was told the plan is for extension talks to get serious this summer. He can sign an extension any time after July 1 under the rules of the current CBA.
“We’re certainly open to talking to them,” Bazos said. “I think they’re going to want to know from their end if indeed they can have him locked in.”
Quick’s a franchise goalie that L.A. will want to sign long term. Don’t think there’s any question there. Aside from earning a Vezina nomination and posting arguably the greatest goaltending season in franchise history, Quick’s also backstopped the Kings to within a game of the Cup final (and barring a meltdown of epic proportions, their first finals appearance since 1993.)
Soooooo….what kind of numbers will keep in him Hollywood?
Bazos could use Pekka Rinne’s seven-year, $49 million deal as a starting point. It’s an absolute monster of a deal, but in line with what Rinne means to the franchise — more than just a good goalie, or a Vezina-worthy goalie, but a team MVP and possible Hart Trophy candidate, which is what Quick is to the Kings.
(Note 1: Quick is 26, Rinne is 29.)
(Note 2: The Kings could go risky and give Quick a Luongo/DiPietro/Bryzgalov special — you know, a super-long-term contract that minimizes the annual cap hit. Get one more in there before the new CBA arrives.)
The only foreseeable issue is L.A.’s long-term financial outlook. While GM Dean Lombardi was lauded for bringing in Jeff Carter at the trade deadline, present day success could be costly down the road. Carter ($5.27 million annually) joined the likes of Drew Doughty ($7 million), Anze Kopitar ($6.8 million) and Mike Richards ($5.75 million) as well-compensated Kings.
That said, Lombardi can’t risk losing Quick or even flirt with the notion of letting him go to market — he’d be 27 by the time he’s a UFA, smack in the midst of his prime.
In closing: There’s a chance Quick could get Rinne money, but also a chance he’ll get more.