Elliotte Friedman notes in his latest 31 Thoughts article that there are reports the Toronto Maple Leafs might be connected to goaltender Jonathan Quick in trade discussions. Specifically, Friedman writes there was talk over the weekend that the Leafs might be kicking tires on the veteran netminder, but Friedman also notes he’s not sure how reliable those rumors are.
There were some Jonathan Quick rumours over the weekend. I don’t see it, even though I concede some circumstantial evidence: Quick’s fiery, competitive nature is the temperament Toronto likes; he’s tight with Jack Campbell; and the Leafs and Kings do deals together. However, he’s battled injuries, and, does it really make sense to put that 35-year-old body through a quarantine, then ramp him up in three weeks for critical games? Not to me, it doesn’t.
It’s an odd rumor considering Quick hasn’t been a consistently strong goaltender for a while now and the Leafs have already said they are more likely to deal for a rental than a player with a contract. The only way this makes sense is if Frederik Andersen is going the other way as part of any trade and the Leafs think Quick and Campbell as tandem for the next two seasons makes sense.
Perhaps the Leafs are enamored by Quick’s previous playoff experience as he backstopped the Kings to two Stanley Cup championships in 2012 and 2014, with a Western Conference Final appearance in between. He played well at the end of last season, but he’s been relegated to backup duties in L.A. this year due to the emergence of Cal Pettersen.
If the Kings don’t retain salary in the deal, Quick’s $5.8 million contract would require the Leafs do more cap juggling than just moving Andersen. While Quick will will only be owed $3 million in salary next season and $2.5 million in 2022-23, it’s not the actual dollars that would be the issue for Toronto. The cap hit issue creates the potential for a lot more work than GM Kyle Dubas may want to try and take on.
If the Maple Leafs are getting desperate when it comes to fixing their goaltending woes, who knows what ideas they might be tossing around. Andersen has been playing hurt the last two weeks and Toronto head coach Sheldon Keefe confirmed Saturday night after the team’s 2-0 win over Calgary that Andersen wasn’t even available to backup Jack Campbell “because of something he’s been dealing with.”
Toronto could leave Quick exposed in the NHL Expansion Draft if they acquire him, but it’s unlikely Seattle grabs him. As such, the Maple Leafs would need to hope Quick can play a strong 1B role to Campbell as a 1A.