Just when the Kings thought they were getting completely healthy, the rug gets pulled out from the goalie crease.
The status of Jonathan Quick took a turn with the announcement Wednesday that Quick underwent surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his knee, leaving the Kings without the reigning Jennings Trophy winner for an extended period.
It is the latest injury blow to the Kings, who, for one practice last Saturday, had all of their players healthy outside of Gabriel Vilardi. But that didn’t even last the whole practice because Quick apparently suffered the injury during that time and reported it to the staff shortly after, according to coach John Stevens.
The injury is not believed to be months-long or season-ending. Recovery time for such procedures is typically three to six weeks. Quick underwent surgery Tuesday, general manager Rob Blake said.
“Quick will be back,” Blake said in an email.
Blake said it is “status quo” with their current goalies, meaning they are not planning to explore the goalie market. In between Quick’s second injury in the first month of this season, Jack Campbell has taken the starting role, with Peter Budaj as backup.
All three of the Kings’ wins are with Campbell, including a shutout against the Montreal Canadiens, with Carey Price in the other net. He has a 2.72 goals-against average and a .912 save percentage in eight games.
Prior to this season, Campbell had appeared in seven games in his career. But goalie coach Bill Ranford said in training camp that Campbell, who worked to improve his lower-body strength in the summer, is ready to play more than a handful of games.
“He’s going to be ready for whatever the number is,” Ranford said.
The organization put their confidence in Campbell with a two-year extension last November and the trade in February of former backup Darcy Kuemper. Campbell went 2-0-2 in five games last season and stamped his credentials with a win in Las Vegas against the Vegas Golden Knights.
Budaj is a fallback option. The 13-year veteran won 27 games after Quick injured his groin in the 2016 season opener. He was re-acquired this summer for depth and said in training camp he intended to be more than a mentor.
“I still battle and still compete,” Budaj said. “That’s the No. 1 thing for an athlete, to be hungry for competition and try to compete.”
The next option on the depth chart would be Cal Petersen, a highly regarded former Buffalo Sabres draft pick in his second year as a professional who has yet to play in the NHL. Ranford said in September that Petersen, who is with the Ontario Reign, is progressing as a pro.
“He’s right on track with what we’re expecting from him,” Ranford said.
Paul LaDue left practice early and Stevens did not have an update. “It’s never good that he doesn’t finish practice, but I don’t think it’s anything that’s major,” Stevens said. “I still think he can be a possibility to be healthy for [Thursday]. It’s just something that didn’t allow him to continue.”
Austin Wagner and Sean Walker were reassigned in a salary-cap relief move. Wagner or another forward will likely be recalled Thursday. The Kings save more than $8,000 in cap space every day that Wagner and Walker are in the minors, according to capfriendly.com.
UP NEXT VS. PHILADELPHIA
When: Thursday, 7:30 p.m.
On the air: TV: FS West; Radio: iHeartRadio (LA Kings Audio Network).