As part of the deal that sent Joonas Korpisalo and Vladislav Gavrikov to the LA Kings on Wednesday, the Blue Jackets acquired future Hall of Fame goaltender Jonathan Quick. The pickup was mostly made to help the Kings clear cap space for the two players heading the other way, and Jacket GM Jarmo Kekalainen turned Quick to the Vegas Golden Knights on Thursday.
The 37 year old Quick is having the worst season of his career statistically, but the Knights take the chance on him here, hoping he has some gas left in the tank. He’s a long way removed from the .946 save percentage he posted in the 2012 playoffs – but he’s still a two-time Stanley Cup winning goaltender.
Obviously, for a player who had spent his entire career thus far with the LA Kings, this has to be a disappointing outcome in what may be his final year in the league. Jarmo informed him soon after the trade that they didn’t anticipate bringing him into Columbus, and would try to flip him to a playoff team. Good on Jarmo, he made true on his word here.
In return, the Jackets get a 7th round pick at the 2025 NHL Draft, along with journeyman goaltender Michael Hutchinson. If karma has anything to say with this, Quick and the Knights will get their shot at redemption against the Kings in the playoffs … and that 7th round pick that is still two years away will become the next Luc Robitaille or Henrik Zetterberg for the Jackets.
Hey, we can all dream.
Hutchinson, age 33, joins his sixth NHL franchise since 2018, though he never played a game for the NHL’s Knights in the regular season. Originally picked in the third round (#77 overall) by the Boston Bruins at the 2008 NHL Draft, he’s bounced around quite a bit but has given quality goaltending at each stop, for the most part.
He has a career .905% save percentage and a 55-55-15 record in games played for Winnipeg, Florida, Toronto, and Colorado. He’ll join the team today and will likely serve as backup to Elvis Merzlikins for the balance of the season. This is a wise pickup for the Jackets, who need top prospect Daniil Tarasov to see some workload in the AHL for the rest of this season.
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Sometimes making a trade isn’t about gouging teams for assets. In this case, Jarmo does right by a guy who has been one of the top goaltenders of his generation. It may seem like a small thing, but other players around the league see this in a positive light. We’ll take the brownie points here.