The Los Angeles Kings are fighting for both a playoff spot and a Pacific Division title. The team has played well over the past month, staying in that number two spot in the division. The Kings need to look at their roster closely, as they have four UFAs currently on their roster.
Goaltenders Jonathan Quick and Pheonix Copley, forward Brendan Lemieux, and defenseman Alex Edler are free to sign with any team after this season. The rest of the season is crucial as they are essentially auditioning for roster spots in the 2023-34 season.
Lemieux has to be the easy choice to not re-sign. He has been in and out of the lineup, constantly takes bad penalties, and on most nights is the 13th forward.
Edler should be another easy one but easy for the Kings to re-sign. He adds depth, and experience as a left shot, and can eat minutes on a regular shift or on the penalty kill. He hasn’t been flashy but that has never been his game. If brought back, he would settle on the third pairing. Smooth skater and takes care of his own end.
Then it gets interesting.
When talking about the Los Angeles King’s goaltending as a whole it has been ok. Quick, Copley, and Cal Petersen have had nights where they have played ok. Out of the three, Copley has been the best, and most impressive, between the pipes, albeit a small sample. If the Kings can find a partner for Cal Petersen they should make the deal.
For Quick, he is being paid like a number-one goaltender while posting average stats. He has not been good, just average, over the past couple of seasons. Quick is the best goaltender the Kings have ever had but, in this case, it is time to turn it over to another goaltender. Quick had his impressive run and two Stanley Cups but Los Angeles is turning the corner and needs someone they can depend on to provide stable and dependable goaltending for a team looking to win another Stanley Cup.
As for Copley, the Kings need to re-sign him. He has played extremely well and this team has played much better since he occupied the net. Copley has made timely saves and kept the team in every game he has played. If the Kings do re-sign him, he has many options. In Los Angeles as the starter or backup, and maybe with the AHL Ontario Reign as a starter. Based on his play, Copley should get to prove himself long-term. His age is not a factor as Quick is older and Petersen is not far behind. Would not surprise me if the Kings go with Copley as their starter from here on out unless something changes.
(photo: lakingsinsider.com; Zach Dooley) (photo: lakingsinsider.com; Zach Dooley)