The Kings announced a roster move here this evening, as the organization has extended goaltender Pheonix Copley with a one-year contract extension, carrying an AAV of $1,500,000.
Copley has posted a record of 15-3-1 with the Kings this season, helping to provide stability to a team that was riddled with inconsistency throughout the first three months of the season. Copley was recalled in early-December, coinciding with Cal Petersen being assigned to AHL-Ontario, and made his LA Kings debut in a 5-2 victory over Ottawa on December 6. Since that date, Copley has started 20 of the team’s last 26 games played, including all but 4 of the team’s last 22 games played. Copley currently leads the Kings with a .897 save percentage and a 2.92 goals-against average on the season and since his season debut, Copley’s 15 victories are the most in the NHL.
Copley’s extension adds a bit of clarity to the team’s plans for the 2023-24 season. Entering today, the Kings had just one goaltender – Cal Petersen – signed to a contract for next season. Petersen’s deal has two seasons remaining with an AAV of $5,000,000. Each of the organization’s other goaltenders are currently slated to become free agents this summer, including Jonathan Quick (UFA), as well as Matthew Villalta, David Hrenak and Jacob Ingham (RFA’s) and with now just two goaltenders signed, it’s easy to see a way where each could return. Copley was set to be an unrestricted free agent as well, after he signed a one-year contract with a cap hit of $825,000, but earned himself a nice raise and an extension with the organization. The deal retains long-term flexibility for the Kings across the board for the team moving forward, while also providing short-term stability in Copley, with another year for both sides to assess the fit.
More to come regarding Copley likely on Sunday, once we get the chance to chat with him about his extension. A story that deserves its own article that isn’t lost amidst the gameday and Dustin Brown ceremony coverage coming tomorrow…..so a larger offering to follow for sure!
From the team’s official release –
Through 20 games with the Kings this season, Copley, 31, has posted a 15-3-1 record with a 2.92 goals-against average (GAA) and a .897 save percentage (SV%). Since his Kings debut on Dec. 6 at Ottawa, no other NHL goaltender has more wins than Copley, who also sits one win, four starts and seven games played from tying his career marks in each category. The 6-4, 200-pound netminder also established career highs for saves and shots faced, stopping 45-of-48 shots in a 4-3 victory over the Florida Panthers on Jan. 24.
Signed as a free agent July 13, 2022, Copley is in his ninth professional season after spending the previous eight years with Washington and St. Louis Blues organizations. He has appeared in 51 career NHL games, owning a record of 31-12-4 with one shutout, a 2.96 GAA and a .899 SV%. His best NHL season came with the Capitals in 2018-19 when he established a 16-7-3 record, a 2.90 GAA and a .905 SV% in 1,528:56 minutes played.
He has also appeared in 237 career American Hockey League (AHL) games with the Ontario Reign, Hershey Bears and Chicago Wolves, earning a 124-76-38 record with 15 shutouts, a 2.52 GAA and .911 SV%. In 17 AHL postseason games, he owns a 9-7-0 record with a 2.09 GAA and .935 SV%. In 2020-21, he helped the Bears earn the Harry Holmes Memorial Award for AHL best goaltending duo.
The undrafted netminder was signed by the Capitals as a free agent in 2014 after spending two seasons with Michigan Tech in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA). On July 2, 2015, he was acquired by the St. Louis Blues and made his NHL debut the following season on February 27, 2016, against the Nashville Predators. During the 2016-17 season, he was traded back to the Capitals and part of the Capitals 2018 Stanley Cup playoff run.
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