Kings sign goalie Quick for 10 years
LOS ANGELES (AP)
Quick won the Conn Smythe Trophy while leading Los Angeles to its first Stanley Cup championship earlier this month, and the Kings rewarded him with an enormous new deal one year before he reached unrestricted free agency. He can't sign the contract until Sunday.
''We are very happy to have a long-term agreement in place with one of our top young players,'' Kings general manager Dean Lombardi said. ''At this point, we would prefer to withhold further comment until on or around July 1.''
Quick just finished a breakthrough season in which he was a finalist for the Vezina Trophy while establishing himself as one of the world's best young goalies.
The 26-year-old Connecticut native was among the NHL leaders in most goaltending categories, making his first All-Star team while setting the Kings' regular-season records for shutouts (10), save percentage (.929) and goals-against average (1.95). He played in a club-record 72 games, winning 39, and largely carried the NHL's second lowest-scoring team through a difficult regular season before their remarkable playoff push.
Quick was even better in the postseason, giving up just 29 goals in the Kings' 20 playoff games to finish with a 1.41 goals-against average, a .946 save percentage and three shutouts.
He was an easy selection for the Conn Smythe after posting some of the best numbers by a goalie in playoff history, capped by allowing just seven goals in six games in the Stanley Cup finals. He stopped 125 of the New Jersey Devils' 132 shots in the finals, with two of those goals deflecting off his teammates.
Quick's performance is even more meaningful to a franchise that struggled through years of sub-par goaltending in its 45 years of existence. He is the first goalie in Kings history to win 30 games in three straight seasons.
The former third-round draft pick by a previous front office administration kept rising through the Kings' system despite challenges from backup Jonathan Bernier, a first-round pick by Lombardi, and other young goalies. He took over the Kings' starting job midway through the 2008-09 season and never relinquished it, using his unorthodox, low-to-the-ice technique to improve in each season.
Los Angeles has now locked up most of the core of its championship team with long-term contracts. Leading scorer Anze Kopitar is under contract for four more seasons and captain Dustin Brown has two more years on his deal, while star defenseman Drew Doughty and forwards Mike Richards and Jeff Carter are all signed to contracts stretching into the next decade.
The Kings' only significant unrestricted free agent from their championship season is forward Dustin Penner. Los Angeles agreed to terms with forwards Jarret Stoll and Colin Fraser on new contracts earlier this week.