The Los Angeles Kings temporarily ran into an issue where they lacked a goaltender. Pheonix Copley will be out for the remainder of the 2023-24 season after undergoing ACL surgery. While the Kings have Cam Talbot and David Rittich, this injury left a hole in the roster of the Ontario Reign of teh American Hockey League.

Kings Sign Dell For Goaltender Depth in Ontario

Copley had successful surgery that was performed by Dr. Frank Petrigliano at Keck Hospital of USC. He will miss the rest of the regular season and is questionable for next season due to him being an unrestricted free agent after this season. Copley was injured during practice on December 19, 2023, and was immediately placed on long-term injured reserve.

Copley burst onto the scene last season after Jonathan Quick and Cal Petersen failed to keep pucks out of their net. Copley as recalled from the Reign  and the Kings took off in the standings after his arrival. His play took the NHL by storm as he posted a record of 24-6-3 with a 2.64 goals-against-average and a save percentage of.903. He made a few starts this season, going 4-1-2 with a 3.16 GAA and a .870 save percentage.

With the announcement of Copley’s injury, Rittich was recalled from Ontario on December 19 to take his place between the pipes as the backup to Talbot. Rittich is 2-0-1 with a 1.62 GAA and a .926 save percentage.


Because the Reign had a void in their goaltending with the recall of Rittich, the Kings organization signed goaltender Aaron Dell to a contract for the remainder of the American Hockey League season with Ontario. He will pair with goaltending prospect Erik Portillo as the duo in Ontario going forward. Dell has appeared in 130 NHL games, 111 with the San Jose Sharks.

With Talbot and Rittich in Los Angeles and Portilo with Dell in Ontario, they have solid netminders in place to make their teams competitive at each level.  If Portillo continues to shine at the AHL level and has developed fully, we may see him in a Kings jersey at some point this season. He has been tremendous with the Reign this season, posting a record of 9-4-1 with a GAA of 2.53 and a save percentage of .917.

The Los Angeles Kings now has a solid group to push both Los Angeles and Ontario to the top of their respective divisions. With Dell being signed, he brings a veteran presence that has experience in both the NHL and AHL and is able to help Portillo develop. This is a good signing by Los Angeles as they add depth and experience without breaking the bank.

(photo: lqkingsinsider,com; Zach Dooley)
(photo:; Matthew Duffey)
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