Could the Los Angeles Kings turn to a rival to fill a hole in their crease?
The Kings received some bad news on Saturday, when goaltender Jeff Zatkoff went down at Saturday’s morning skate with a groin injury.
Los Angeles was already believed to be in the market for a netminder after Jonathan Quick left his team’s season opener with a groin injury of his own that will keep the 2012 Conn Smythe Trophy-winner out for three months.
The team has recalled both Peter Budaj and Jack Campbell from the American Hockey League for now, though neither has proven to be a reliable NHL starter in their respective careers so far.
During Saturday’s Headlines segment on Hockey Night in Canada, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman listed some names Kings GM Dean Lombardi was considering.
“They’ve looked at [Winnipeg’s Ondrej] Pavelec, they’ve looked at Steve Mason, they’ve looked at Reto Berra, they’ve looked at Mike Condon,” said Friedman, “and I think I wonder even if they would take a look at someone like Jonathan Bernier.”
Bernier was at one point considered the goaltender of the future in Los Angeles, since they picked him 11th overall in the 2006 draft, but is now a backup to John Gibson in Anaheim.
The Ducks, a Pacific Division rival, could stand to shed Bernier’s $4-million cap hit in order to sign restricted free agent Hampus Lindholm.
“Anaheim needs to clear cap room, [Kings goaltending coach] Bill Ranford is a fan of Bernier, I wonder if there’s a match there if they could make it fit.”
However, a trade doesn’t appear likely in the short term, as the Kings will look to see if they can get by with what they have.
“It looks like right now they’re going to say ‘Until we get a better option that we can fit, then Peter Budaj, he’s going to be our guy.’ “