Four on waivers; Zatkoff earns back-up - LA Kings Insider

The Kings have placed four players on waivers, including goaltender Peter Budaj, as they have begun the process of separating their NHL and AHL rosters following last night’s split-squad games and in advance of the Ontario Reign’s training camp, which begins Tuesday.

Full cuts will be announced later, but according to reports, goalies Peter Budaj and Jack Campbell, center Andrew Crescenzi and defenseman Vincent LoVerde have been placed on waivers in advance of the team’s intended roster moves. Budaj is the player to watch here; as a 2015-16 first team all-star and the winner of both the award for the AHL’s top goalie and the Harry “Hap” Holmes Memorial Award, there is a threat that he, more than the others, could be claimed off waivers by a team in search of a back-up goaltender. San Jose, which has only 119 minutes of goaltending experience beyond that of Martin Jones on its roster – minutes that belong to Troy Grosenick, who was also placed on waivers today – could be a team to watch as teams continue to pare down their rosters.

These waiver notifications unofficially confirm that Jeff Zatkoff, barring anything crazy or unexpected, will back up Jonathan Quick this season. That was always expected, as Los Angeles will need to expose at least one goaltender in next year’s expansion draft, and Zatkoff was signed for two seasons. Thomas McCollum, who has performed well in the preseason, was brought into camp on a PTO as insurance in the event that a team would make a claim on Budaj, who stopped 24 of 28 shots over two preseason appearances.

Reports on whether players clear arise in the 9:00 hour PT the day after the player is placed on waivers.

As the Kings understood they would likely have to expose Budaj to waivers, the timing in which they did so took on significance. They lost J-F Berube last fall when the Islanders made a claim after Jaroslav Halak was hurt in training camp; that claim was made official on October 6. This year, Los Angeles subjected its goaltenders to waivers nine days before the season instead of two.

According to a team source, the team is still in the process of evaluating Lucas Lessio and Devin Setoguchi, its two skaters on PTO contracts. While the team is not scheduled to practice today, hockey operations is expected to spend the day in meetings. Again, the full list of cuts is expected to be announced later.

The 27-year-old LoVerde, Ontario’s captain, totaled 11 goals and 32 points in 56 games with the Reign last season, while the 24-year-old Crescenzi, a checking forward and valuable penalty killer, totaled five goals and 21 points in 67 games. Campbell, acquired from Dallas at the draft in exchange for Nick Ebert as the team looked to rebuild its goaltending pipeline, is 24 years old and split last season between AHL-Texas, where he posted a 3.65 goals-against average and .884 save percentage in 19 games, and ECHL-Idaho, where he had 1.68 / .944 splits in 20 games.

Rules for Blog Commenting
  • - No profanity, slurs or other offensive language. Replacing letters with symbols does not turn expletives into non-expletives.
  • - Personal attacks against other blog commenters, and/or blatant attempts to antagonize other commenters, are not tolerated. Respectful disagreement is encouraged. Posts that continually express the same singular opinion will be deleted.
  • - Comments that incite political, religious or similar debates will be deleted.
  • - Please do not discuss, or post links to, websites that illegally stream NHL games.
  • - Posting under multiple user names is not allowed. Do not type in all caps. All violations are subject to comment deletion and/or banning of commenters, per the discretion of the blog administrator.
Kevin Gravel

#4 | 6′ 4″ | 200 lb | Age: 24

Born: DOB: 2/17/1996
Birthplace: KINGSFORD, MI
Position: D

Bio

Gravel made his NHL debut with Los Angeles in the 2015-16 season, skating with the Kings for four games before returning to AHL affiliate Ontario.
VIEW KEVIN GRAVEL POSTS

Rob Scuderi

#0 | 6′ 1″ | 212 lb | Age: 37

Born: DOB: 12/30/1978
Birthplace: SYOSSET, NY
Position: D
Handedness: Left

Bio

Scuderi is currently playing for the Reign while under contract with the LA Kings. He has won two Stanley Cups, once with the Pittsburgh Penguins and with the Kings.
VIEW ROB SCUDERI POSTS

Michael Mersch

#27 | 6′ 1″ | 225 lb | Age: 24

Born: DOB: 10/2/1992
Birthplace: PARK RIDGE, IL
Position: LW
Handedness: Left

Bio

Drafted by the Kings in 2011, Mersch is currently playing forward for the Reign. Last season, he drew into his first NHL game for the Kings, where he registered 2 shots and 3 hits.
VIEW MICHAEL MERSCH POSTS

Michael Latta

#24 | 6′ 0″ | 207 lb | Age: 25

Born: 5/25/1991
Birthplace: KITCHENER, ON
Position: F
Handedness: Right

Bio

Prior to turning professional, Latta played major junior hockey in the OHL with the Ottawa 67’s and Guelph Storm. He was drafted into the NHL in 2009 and joined the King’s affiliate Reign in 2016.
VIEW MICHAEL LATTA POSTS

Adrian Kempe

#09 | 6′ 1″ | 187 lb | Age: 20

Born: 9/13/1996
Birthplace: KRAMFORS,SWEDEN
Position: LW
Handedness: Left

Bio

Growing up in Swedan, Kempe made his hockey debut in 2014 in the Swedish Hockey League. He has since been drafted by the Kings, where he is playing for their AHL affiliate team, the Ontario Reign.
VIEW ADRIAN KEMPE POSTS

Brett Sutter

#07 | 6′ 0″ | 192 lb | Age: 29

Born: 6/2/1987
Birthplace: CALGARY, AB
Position: C

Bio

Drafted in 2005 by the Calgary Flames, Sutter was traded to the Reign in 2016. He is the son of LA Kings head couch Darryl Sutter, and the eighth member of the Sutter family to play in the NHL.
VIEW BRETT SUTTER POSTS