(Interjection: I like to think of the above picture as Quick saying, “Sweet mother of pearl, 10 years!“)

Jonathan Quick is no longer the designated cornerstone with the expiring contract in Los Angeles as he has joined the likes of Anze Kopitar, Mike Richards, Jeff Carter, Justin Williams, and Drew Doughty as players who will be locked up in Hollywood for some time yet. Ironically enough captain Dustin Brown is now the big name with the shortest contract but you can bet after this year’s run that the Kings will have that squared away soon.

This contract has the Kings goaltending situation in stable hands for many years to come so long as Quick can stay healthy. The $5.8 million cap hit is fairly reasonable for a goaltender of his caliber and his play over the last few seasons have made the $4 million raise entirely justifiable.

An interesting cog in this contract is where the future of Jonathan Bernier fits in, considering he was once destined to supplant Quick in the crease. After a frustrating start to his pro career, expect Bernier to be moved in the near future and Martin Jones to be slid into the backup role in Los Angeles sooner rather than later.

The underlying issue to all of this is the history of goaltenders with albatross contracts. The 10 year deal makes Quick’s contract the third longest contract for a goaltender in the league today, behind only Rick DiPietro and Roberto Luongo, while Quick inches in front of Ilya Bryzgalov‘s humongous big nine year deal in Philly.

While Quick’s deal isn’t of the Coleridge-ian proportions DiPietro can claim, it’s certainly not to be overlooked.

As of June 2012 there is no clear positive to giving a goaltender a contract this long. DiPietro’s deal was ill-advised and has blown up about as spectacularly as you could imagine. The Canucks are actively shopping Luongo to hand the reins to the younger, cheaper Cory Schneider. Bryzgalov has been a whipping boy in Philadelphia, though that is equal parts his in-goal work with the Flyers and HBO magic.

Where will Quick fit in all of this?

If you were to bank on anyone being the exception to the albatross deal rule, it would have to be Jonathan Quick. Had Henrik Lundqvist not propelled the New York Rangers to the top seed in the Eastern Conference, Quick could have the Vezina and Conn Smythe to his credit as his numbers in net were identical to King Henrik’s, Quick’s team simply didn’t get the results in front of him until the playoffs.

Really, that’s where this Quick arrangement differs from the previous three. As far as a stable situation to thrive long term goes, you can’t do much better than Los Angeles as the Kings are defending champions come September and have the talent to take the heat off of Quick if need be, something his long term predecessors cannot lay claim to.

On Long Island, DiPietro was given his deal to be the cornerstone for any success on a bad team, Luongo was the backbone of the Canucks at the time of his deal before they added a bevy of pieces to propel them to a Cup final appearance, and Bryzgalov was brought in to a situation in Philly where the team had been re-structured over the summer. These were situations in both positive and negative cases of flux and weren’t nearly as stable as what the Kings currently have.

The 10 year deal will take Quick to his 36th birthday and barring catastrophic injury, the Kings can expect an elite goaltender for at least half of this contract. If his play diminishes with age, the performances of veteran goaltenders in recent years, particuarly in the playoffs (Brodeur, Roloson, Thomas, among others), certainly wouldn’t deter the Kings from making this commitment. A decade of consistently above average goaltending is hard to get in this league.

There may be some work to do to overcome the albatross contract stigma brought upon goalies by Mr. DiPietro, but as of the year 2012, there’s nobody more qualified to do that than Jonathan Quick.

What do you think of the deal?

Comments (9)

  1. If the reported AAV of 5.8 is accurate I’m o.k with the term. Given Quick’s style of play there’s probably very little chance he’s going to be solid until age 37 but, then again, Tim Thomas hasn’t been a slouch over the past few years. All in all, a good deal for the Kings.

    • Thomas didn’t have to play full NHL seasons for most of his life, though.

      • This is true. Like I said, in all liklihood he won’t be worth the money at the end of the deal but if he can get the team one or two more cups during that time the deal is worth it for me.

        • …but couldn’t he have done that same thing with a 4-5 year deal?

          • Perhaps, but you have to keep in mind that term & money are pretty much on a sliding scale with these deals. The price for Quick over four years would easily have been above 7 mil. per year, and he would have been right to argue for money in exchange for forgoing his UFA rights a year from now. That cap hit would have seriously tied up the team in free agency & singing their own.

            There’s risk here, of course, but all in all I like the deal.

  2. Ye gods. I’m loathe to criticize giving ANYTHING to the man who just gave my favourite team a Stanley Cup but… sweet jesus, ten years?

    My big worry is that Quick’s hyper-athletic style isn’t going to translate on the far side of 30. One degenerative hip later and we’re looking at a bad deal. But I guess the Kings are assuming that they’re going to get one amnesty out of the new CBA and keep it in their pocket for potential use on Quick.

    Anyway, I hope the door doesn’t hit Bernier in the ass on his way out.

    Still, this means that the team is Quick, Doughnuts, Kopitar, Richards and Carter until… what, at least 2016? How insane is it that KOPITAR has the shortest deal of those guys?

  3. I can’t help but believe that these deals are a huge mistake, and a result of some sort of panic with the new cba on the horizon. Quick is a great goalie, no question, and I would definitely give him 5 years, but I fail to see the advantage to signing any player, let alone a goaltender, to a 10 year deal. There isn’t one player in the NHL that I would sign to this length of deal — even Sidney Crosby. Especially in light of the problems teams like Vancouver are having dealing an all star caliber goalie, just because of his contract. It’s ludicrous, and I think it’s gonna be a huge burden on these teams in the future.

  4. The issue to consider is that, while his athleticism may decline after 30 (though thats no guarantee given how fit today’s players are), his maturity, technical ability, and general experience should improve over that time. He came into the league as a very gifted athlete, but only in the last 2-3 years has he learned a more complete game and better control. He likely still has room to grow, so while some areas may deteriorate, he may improve overall. And while he’s likely to play a lot of game sin net each season, he has the defense in front of him to keep his the action in front of his crease relatively low.

    There’s also DL’s propensity to not include NTC/NMC in his contracts, and with the cap increasing, 5.8mil looks to be a steal. Certainly an injury can change everything, but thats a risk you take with any player at any contract amount.

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