Jonathan Quick’s legacy with the Kings written with Stanley Cups
As the Kings rebuilt but once more within the early 2000s, it turned clear their goaltender of the longer term was more likely to be a man named Jonathan. But which one?
Early comparisons between Jonathan Bernier, their first spherical draft choose in 2006, and Jonathan Quick, their third spherical choose, and 72nd total, in 2005, favored Bernier. He got here from Quebec, the cradle of standout goalies, and he had excelled within the high-scoring Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Quick had performed highschool hockey at Avon Old Farms in Connecticut. After being drafted he spent two seasons on the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.
As a professional, Bernier had strong credentials. Quick had a nasty behavior of oversleeping and being late for minor league bus journeys. Missing a gathering with a coach earned him a demotion from the American Hockey League to the ECHL. It was a wake-up name he couldn’t afford to disregard.
“Bernier was drafted in the first round, so…,” Kings president Luc Robitaille mentioned, his tone conveying the respect accorded a main choose. “But Quickie came in and took the job. That’s what you always say: If you want to make the NHL, you’ve got to take someone’s job. He took it and ran with it.”
Quick discovered to set a number of alarm clocks. He labored at his craft, distinguishing himself among the many seven goalies who performed for the Kings in 2007-08 by displaying the athleticism and unquenchable hearth that turned his emblems. He led them to the one two Stanley Cup championships in franchise historical past, in 2012 and 2014, and fended off challengers to his No. 1 standing till this season, when his reflexes slowed and his struggles had been plain.
The Kings couldn’t win one other Cup with him carrying the load. Going on with out him appeared nearly unthinkable.
He was a lot part of the Kings’ brotherhood and historical past that they had been all shocked when basic supervisor Rob Blake traded Quick to Columbus for brawny defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov and goalie Joonas Korpisalo, a deal introduced Wednesday. On paper, the deal makes nice sense for a group that was small on protection and inconsistent in aim. But individuals aren’t paper cutouts.
“I was thinking that Quickie was going to be a King for life and we’re going to play with him the rest of our careers too,” group captain Anze Kopitar mentioned, talking for himself and defenseman Drew Doughty.
In an intriguing twist, Columbus traded Quick a day later to the Vegas Golden Knights. His worth is in his playoff expertise, not his current performances, however his hearth nonetheless burns — and it was stoked when he landed with a rival who might block the playoff run the Kings imagine they’ll make with out him.
“It’s motivating,” Quick instructed reporters in Las Vegas earlier than he made his Golden Knights debut because the backup to Adin Hill on Friday. “I’m looking forward to being part of this team and do what you want to do every year: you want to win your division, you want to win playoff series, you want to win 16 playoff games. So whatever I can do to help them get there, that’s what I want to do.”
He won’t attain his previous requirements once more, however it received’t be for lack of effort.
“He’s had a great career and I know full well today he’ll be ready,” Darryl Sutter, who coached the Kings’ Cup-winning groups and now guides the Flames, mentioned final week. “His whole thing will be, ‘I want to show somebody.’ I can guarantee that.”
Quick’s excellence allowed a low-scoring, eighth-seeded group to blossom into an unstoppable drive within the 2012 playoffs. Yet of all of the saves he pulled off because the postseason most useful participant, none was extra essential than when his then 2-year-old daughter Madison started to choke on a chunk of sweet throughout his post-victory information convention and he dislodged it by patting her on the again. “Sorry, M&M crisis,” he mentioned calmly.
He was the rationale the Kings received once more in 2014 regardless of dropping the primary three video games of their first-round collection towards San Jose and falling behind in every of the following two rounds. “If you ask me what’s the first thing that comes to mind, it’s that he’s probably the fiercest competitor I’ve ever seen,” Robitaille mentioned. “You always hear goalies are different, but he was different in a way where his competitiveness was superior to anyone.
“I know when we were down 3-0 against San Jose, I don’t know when and how but I know he told the team, ‘That’s it. We’re shutting the door. We’re turning it around.’ And we know what happened.”
Sutter known as Quick “old style,” his final praise. “That’s a guy who played a lot of playoff games and played hurt and had major surgeries after a couple of them and still came back. He’s a warrior,” Sutter mentioned. “He’s a great leader in the room. Great work ethic. Great personality. Dominant competitor, I’ll tell you that. A lot of those series…they were tough series. Those teams had good goalies, too, and that was his challenge: he wanted to be better than the other goalie.”
Unlike lots of his friends, Quick by no means yelled at teammates who obscured his view or made his job more durable. He’d hearth the puck previous the ear of somebody who scored on him in apply and he’d generally smash his stick towards the put up in frustration, however he by no means pointed fingers throughout video games.
“You see other guys around the league throw their hands up when their d-man is screening them and the puck goes in. You’ll never in a million years see Quickie do that,” Doughty instructed The Los Angeles Times in 2019. “And if there’s a handoff behind the net and it’s clearly one of the d-men’s fault, Quickie is going to pipe up and say it was his fault, when it wasn’t. That’s just the type of guy he is.”
Robitaille admired that too. “That’s what made him so loved by his teammates. He was the ultimate team player,” Robitaille mentioned.
Quick left the Kings because the franchise chief in wins (370), shutouts (57), save share (.911), saves (18,188), video games performed (743) and minutes performed (43,215). As a two-time Cup winner, 2012 playoff MVP, two-time U.S. Olympian and twice the winner of the Jennings Trophy because the goalie on the group that gave up the fewest targets, he has a powerful case for a spot within the Hockey Hall of Fame along with no matter honors the Kings finally bestow.
According to Robitaille, Quick, Doughty, Kopitar and not too long ago retired Dustin Brown — the core of the Cup groups — will obtain particular recognition after they’re accomplished. “And I don’t know when that will be. And good for Quickie. He’ll play as long as he can,” Robitaille mentioned. “I told him that: play as long as you can. There’s nothing better.”
Quick drove from Southern California to his new job in Las Vegas. Somewhere after he hit Barstow and reached the desert, he mentioned, he turned excited in regards to the change of profession surroundings. An enthusiastic welcome when he arrived helped him shift his focus. “For my first new situation in 16 years I really genuinely feel comfortable already, and these guys have done a great job with that,” he mentioned, “so I’m looking forward to working and winning some games with them.”
It’s unhappy he didn’t get to go away the Kings on his personal phrases, however life doesn’t all the time supply feel-good endings. Salary cap restraints prevented them from conserving him round purely out of sentiment, and he most likely wouldn’t have needed that. Blake had a duty to create one of the best roster now and for future seasons. Quick’s declining efficiency meant he might not be a part of that, irrespective of how deeply he was liked by teammates and followers.
Remember Quick as he was in his prime: an amazing teammate, very good stress performer, and the Jonathan who introduced the Cup to Los Angeles twice greater than most followers dared to dream was potential.