Desperate times call for desperate measures. The Los Angeles Kings are in some desperate times ( to say the least) with their top two goaltenders sidelined with injuries. First it was their star-goaltender Jonathan Quick who went down with an injury. A state of panic was created right away as Quick, the goaltender that helped the team win two Stanley cups, could be out for the immediate future.
It was speculated that the Kings were sniffing around the trade market to bring in reinforcements to bolster the Kings goaltending situation. The Kings didn’t acquire a goaltender right away and now they may be regretting they didn’t right when Quick went down. With the news that their current starting goalie Jeff Zatkoff has been placed on the IR, the Kings are need to get another goaltender on the roster as soon as possible.
The Kings now desperately need a goaltender and they have been linked to Manitoba Moose goaltender Ondrej Pavelec ever since the Quick injury. Pavelec is likely the best option available to them on the trade market but will the Kings be able to work out a deal?
Could a deal get done between the Jets and the Kings?
The Kings need a stop-gap option that can hold the fort until Quick returns. Pavelec was the Jets starting goalie for the last five seasons before being sent down to the Manitoba Moose after the conclusion of this years training camp. Pavelec has the most amount of experience and ultimately ability of anyone the Kings could acquire quickly.
The Czech native may not even be that terrible of an acquisition for the Kings. The elite group of defenseman the Kings have that is highlighted by the likes of Drew Doughty and Jake Muzzin could take the pressure of Pavelec, a luxury he didn’t have in Winnipeg.
The problem is, the Kings are hard pressed right up against the salary cap. This becomes problematic as Pavelec carries a hefty cap hit of 3.9 million dollars that the Kings won’t be able to squeeze in to their mere 1.553 million in cap space they have. Pavelec’s contract expires at the end of this season, so the cap crunch they’d have to go through would only last until the end of the season when they can let Pavelec walk. For a deal to get done, the Jets would have to retain salary. The Jets have just under 10 million dollars in cap space and retaining a little bit of cash should be no problem for Winnipeg.
But for the Jets to retain a sizeable amount of dollar, the Kings would have to upgrade the value of the package they would be sending the other way. It’s likely Winnipeg could only get a mid-round draft pick for Pavelec straight up if no dollar was retained. Even that’s a stretch if you really think about it. But as Los Angeles desperately needs a goaltender and would be asking the Jets to retain a good amount of salary, the pick could evolve in to one with some value.
If the Jets were to retain 1.95 million dollars in salary ( 50% of his cap hit which is the maximum aloud), the Kings would be 400K over the cap. The Kings would need to do some manoeuvring to get under the cap, but 400K isn’t that much money to shed from your cap, especially when you are getting a starting goalie.
Now, what exactly could the Jets get in return? The Kings are asking the Jets to retain quite a bit of dollar and a 5th-7th round pick wouldn’t make the cut to get a deal done. I bet the deal could escalate up to as much as a 4th round pick if the Jets were to retain 50% salary.
That sort of deal could be a win-win for both sides.
The Kings would get the goalie they need to keep them treading water until Quick returns. This Kings team can’t afford to go without a decently reliable goaltender for long and they’d have to acquire someone like Pavelec while Quick is out. Their window to win is soon closing. From the Jets point of view, they would receive a fourth round pick for their AHL starting goalie.
There is certainly some sort of deal to be had between the Kings and the Jets. One that can be mutually beneficial to both parties.