Vegas debut: 'I wanted to retire as a Kings player' – Jonathan Quick
BET À DAY
LAS VEGAS | Jonathan Quick is still wearing his Los Angeles Kings mask. For his leggings, he camouflages the silver with gold ribbon. At 37, Quick discovers his new environment, that of the Vegas Golden Knights.
Strong image of the Kings with two Stanley Cup conquests (2012 and 2014) and 743 games in 16 seasons within the same organization, the American has yet to swallow the pill of this exchange. He imagined ending his days in the NHL in Los Angeles.
“I assumed that was the plan,” Quick said after a practice with the Golden Knights. I wanted to retire as a Kings player. But plans can always change. I was lucky to spend so many seasons in Los Angeles. I have met several good friends. The day after the transaction, I had time to talk to my teammates. It was a special day for me. I took the time to greet them. “
“It was pretty chaotic for a few days, continued the Kings third-round pick in 2005. I was hearing about rumors , but I still didn't know where I was going. I also had to live with the reality that I was gone. I was no longer part of the Kings. »
“But I thank Jarmo (Kekalainen) and the Blue Jackets for the way they handled this file. They spoke to me quickly and they helped me find another team. I also thank Kelly (McCrimmon) and the Golden Knights. They give me another chance. I look forward to this new chapter. I've only been there two days, but I already like the atmosphere in this locker room. »
When Quick speaks of a chaotic situation, he is referring to the two transactions. Rob Blake traded him late Tuesday night from the Kings to the Blue Jackets. Quick learned of his departure after his team's 6-5 shootout win over the Jets in Winnipeg. He was Pheonix Copley's assistant that night.
The acrobatic goalkeeper never dropped his bags in Columbus. By Friday's trade deadline, three days after the initial trade, he finally met his fate.
The Jackets, who agreed to pay 50% of the last year of his contract (5.8 million), sent him to Vegas against goaltender Michael Hutchinson and a 7th round pick in 2025.
“I found it unexpected to see him leave Los Angeles, admitted winger Jonathan Marchessault. But as soon as he left the Kings, I had the feeling that we were going to do something with him. I had not spoken to our leaders, but I knew our situation. We have injuries in the goalkeeper position. »
A chance for Quick
In Vegas, Robin Lehner, Logan Thompson and Laurent Brossoit find themselves in the infirmary. Thompson had landed the number one role in the absence of Lehner, who has been an X this season due to hip surgery.
In his first game after playing the game stars, Thompson suffered a left leg injury that will keep him sidelined for several weeks.
Adin Hill and Quick will share the work for the next few weeks.
“We're not going to ask him to be number one,” Cassidy said. Jonathan knows his role, but there will be opportunities for him. We want him to give us a chance to win. He won the Stanley Cup twice. When you can add a player with this experience, it's never a refusal. »
Quick will make his first steps with the Golden Knights on Sunday afternoon against the Montreal Canadiens.
“When I start for the first time, I know it will be different,” he said before Cassidy confirmed his presence. I will wear a different jersey than the Kings for the first time. But it's still the same sport. I will have to block pucks to help my team win. I focus on this aspect. »
If Quick was looking to steer clear of the emotional aspect, Cassidy knows very well that this will be a unique moment for his new goalie.
“I will not put myself in his head, I do not know what it will represent for him, recalled the head coach of the Golden Knights. He is here because he still wants to play hockey. He feels he can still help our team. I felt that 100% talking to him. He will have his chance with us. We have good goalkeepers, but we have injuries. »
With Quick, the Golden Knights didn't get their hands on the dominant goaltender of the mid-2010s. stop over .900. This year, he was 11-13-4 with a 3.50 GAA and a .876 save percentage.
Despite very ordinary numbers, Marchessault was delighted with his arrival.
“We get another good goalie. He is in the same basin as Marc-André Fleury. You want to fight for a goalkeeper like Quick. He's such a good guy and a good teammate. I tip my hat to our organization. They always make good shots to give us a competitive team. »