The provision that allows teams to have contact with injured players during the lockout has been a blessing for Dean Lombardi.
It’s allowed the LA Kings GM to keep tabs on his prized possession — Conn Smythe winner Jonathan Quick, he of the 10-year $60 million deal — after Quick underwent offseason back surgery.
Lombardi told the LA Times on Monday that “everything is on schedule” for Quick’s recovery, which was initially given a six-week window.
Quick underwent a procedure to deal with an inflammatory cyst and a disc fragment in early August. At the time, assistant GM Ron Hextall said the 26-year-old ‘tender would be ready to return to the ice “sometime around training camp” — which was supposed to begin on Sept. 21 — a camp that was cancelled due to the work stoppage.
Of course, Quick might be one of the few players actually benefiting from the lockout.
In addition to gaining extra rehab time for his back, he’ll get some rest after shouldering one of the league’s heaviest workloads over the last three seasons.
Quick appeared in a career-high 72 games during the 2009-10 season and finished fourth in the NHL with 69 appearances last season, then made the longest playoff run of his career (20 games).