A few quick notes to pass along, based in part on this Sportsnet Headlines segment from Saturday’s Hockey Night in Canada broadcast: the Kings have kicked the tires on several goalies, but their options in bringing someone via trade are limited because of their salary cap constriction.
In the segment, Elliotte Friedman noted that the goalies the Kings have looked at are Ondrej Pavelec of Winnipeg (who is currently playing for the AHL’s Manitoba Moose), Philadelphia’s Steve Mason, Florida’s Reto Berra (who is currently playing for the AHL’s Springfield Thunderbirds) and Pittsburgh’s Mike Condon, who had recently been claimed off waivers from Montreal. He also speculated that there might be a match between Los Angeles and alum Jonathan Bernier because of Anaheim’s need to cut salary in advance of an extension for holdout defenseman Hampus Lindholm, and Bernier’s experience working under Bill Ranford.
What I’ve heard from hockey operations, similar to what Friedman and others have heard, is that Los Angeles is not expected to bring on a higher profile goalie because of a lack of cap space. While the team could put Jonathan Quick on LTIR to gain cap space back, Quick is expected to return later in the year based on his three-month recovery time frame, so a hypothetical expensive goalie acquisition would just push back the need to trim salary to later in the season. Instead, the team is expected to roll with Peter Budaj and (after he returns from a groin pull) Jeff Zatkoff for the near future.
Based on financials made available by CapFriendly, Los Angeles has roughly $952,000 of cap space.
In doing my diligence to check in on other names that might be linked to the club, there’s one that I was surprised wasn’t among them: Thomas Greiss. Based on multiple conversations with those in the organization over the last year (and a Pierre LeBrun report in July, 2015 that the Kings had targeted him before signing Jhonas Enroth), L.A. thinks highly of Greiss, who is in the final year of a contract that carries a $1.5-million cap hit. However, sources have indicated to LA Kings Insider that Greiss is not among those the team has kicked the tires on.