Somewhat buried in the busy day surrounding the Dodger Stadium announcement and the preparations for Game 4 was the news that the Kings recalled goaltenders Martin Jones (from Manchester) and Jean-Francois Berube (from Ontario) on Monday.
Jones, a 2008 non-drafted free agent who served in a platoon role in 2010-11 before becoming the primary Monarchs goaltender for the last two seasons, recently completed a four-game playoff run in which he stopped 137-of-147 shots for a .932 save percentage. Manchester dropped three games in overtime to Springfield and lost in four games in its best-of-five first round Calder Cup Playoffs series. Overall in 2012-13, the 23-year-old was 27-25-4 with a 2.53 GAA and .919 Sv% for the Monarchs.
Berube, selected in the fourth round in 2009, led the Reign to the second round of the Kelly Cup playoffs and compiled a 2.07 GAA and .914 Sv% before Ontario fell in six games to the Idaho Steelheads. In 24 regular season games, the 21-year-old compiled a 15-6-2 record with a 2.24 GAA and .910 Sv%.
Due to Jonathan Quick’s 10-year contract kicking in next year and Jonathan Bernier’s RFA status making his Los Angeles Kings future cloudy, it is possible that both goaltenders could jump up a rung in the organizational goaltending ladder within the coming year. Whether Jones is capable of battling for a potential backup role with the Kings is a topic I plan on covering in a discussion with a member of the team’s hockey operations staff while we’re here in St. Louis.
The two goaltenders join Nick Shore as the “Black Aces” currently with the team but practicing separately from the club. Jones was a Black Ace a year ago as well and was on the ice when the Kings hoisted the Stanley Cup on June 11, 2012.