Goaltending prospect Patrik Bartosak, who had been suspended by the Kings following an alleged violent altercation with his girlfriend in November that resulted in 12 “domestic-related charges,” according to this report in the New Hampshire Union Leader, has joined HC Vitkovice of the Czech Extraliga in what was deemed a “hybrid”-type loan by a member of Los Angeles’ hockey operations department. Vitkovice has confirmed Bartosak’s arrival on its website.
According to the source in the Kings’ hockey operations, Vitkovice now formally takes over the obligations of Bartosak’s standard player contract, which expires after this season, at which point he will become a restricted free agent. Because of Bartosak’s ongoing and yet-to-be completed legal proceedings, there is no resolution or imminent conclusion on his status as it relates to whether he will return to North America. Bartosak had asked the Kings to be able to return to Europe to be able to continue his playing career.
With Bartosak’s status and J.F. Berube having been claimed off waivers prior to the start of the season, the Kings’ goaltending depth has been depleted. 2014 fifth round draft pick Alec Dillon, the remaining goaltending prospect in the pipeline, suffered a hip injury in October and has since been moved to the WHL’s long term injury list after logging only seven games with the Edmonton Oil Kings in his 19-year-old season. Peter Budaj is having a fine season in the AHL but is 33 years old, while 27-year-old Jhonas Enroth has put up strong numbers as Jonathan Quick’s understudy but has played only nine games this season.