If you blinked while reading Elliotte Friedman’s 30 Thoughts this morning, you might have missed it. If you didn’t blink, you saw that the Los Angeles Kings might just be moving forward with Jack Campbell behind Jonathan Quick.
Los Angeles appears ready to have Jack Campbell as Jonathan Quick’s backup.
I will confess to being a little surprised. It has been less than three months since the Kings missed the postseason, and the lack of an adequate backup certainly contributed. Can Campbell, who was acquired last year to be the fourth option in the organization, trace the same rags-to-relative-riches story as Peter Budaj? They both found new life with the Ontario Reign, and Campbell is still young by NHL goaltending standards. But Campbell’s .914 save percentage last season in the AHL doesn’t reach the heights of Budaj’s in 2015-16, although doing that while playing every night is still pretty good.
(On the bright side, Campbell’s NHL save percentage was a spiffy 1.000.)
Campbell could certainly be a fine backup in 15-20 games this season. If LA is smart, they will find another guy who could also be a fine backup in 15-20 games this season. Right now the Kings are one injury away from Campbell-Zatkoff, and that won’t do it. Good luck finding someone from our list of good options who is also willing to take a minor league assignment though. It’ll be a delicate balance, and the Kings committing themselves to a Quick-Campbell tandem now might upset it.
As for other goalies: Friedman also noted that Ryan Miller could be signing on the cheap in Anaheim, and that Mike Condon is fielding calls from a number of teams. Perhaps a few goalies will remain after the July 1 rush to offer additional options for LA as well? As we learned last year, it’s always good to have additional options.