The Cannon’s writing schedule for this article was originally supposed to be a trade deadline preview for Korpisalo. He got traded early. Yesterday, I spent an hour writing an article about Chychrun. He got traded to Ottawa soon after. If I’m lucky, maybe the Blue Jackets will hold off on trading Quick until after this article publishes.
On Wednesday, the Jackets acquired Quick in the trade that sent Gavrikov and Korpisalo to LA. Rumors have since swirled about Quick being very unhappy with the situation. It sounds like his disgruntlement has little to do with Columbus, but with the way he was treated by his former club. After 16 seasons, 2 Stanley Cups, 2 William M. Jennings Trophies, and a Conn Smythe Trophy with the Kings, they sent him to the worst team in the league in his final contract year as a cap dump in a deadline deal.
It was reported later in the day that Jarmo Kekalainen was working to trade Quick to a contender. I doubt the Blue Jackets are looking for much of a return, if any, but Quick’s $5.8m cap hit won’t be easy to move (his actually salary remaining is very low, but that’s not the number that counts). If the Jackets aren’t able to trade Quick by Friday’s 3PM ET deadline, there’s still a chance Quick will never put on a Union Blue sweater. Let’s take a look at what may play out.
UPDATE (2:56 p.m.): The trade option happened:
G Michael Hutchinson and 2025 7th round pick to #CBJ from #VegasBorn for G Jonathan Quick.— Brian Hedger (@BrianHedger) March 2, 2023
There are few contenders that have both cap space and a need for a goaltender. It’s also no secret that Quick has struggled mightily this season. His .876 save percentage is among the worst in the league. Still, we know that GMs love to trade for players that have won Stanley Cups. It has been reported that Vegas has been talking to Columbus about Quick, but their cap situation may prevent the move. They also just took on Teddy Blueger’s cap hit in a trade on Wednesday evening. The Oilers and Kraken could both use another experienced goalie, but neither have the cap room to immediately take on Quick. Any of those teams could potentially make space, but I’m sure Jarmo would ask for something in return.
One team to keep an eye on could be Ottawa. They have the cap space and are down a goalie, but they also have two goalies that currently have better stats than Quick. All of that to say this: the trade market is looking very thin.
Quick could retire now and never report to Columbus. Honestly, I wouldn’t blame him either. After the season he has had, retirement may already be on his mind. If he did choose to retire, he would only be foregoing a little over $600,000. What would that mean for the Blue Jackets? I would imagine Jet Greaves would become Elvis’ backup and would likely get to play his first games in the NHL.
Playing is always an option, although I’m not sure it would be anywhere close to enjoyable for Quick. He would likely only play a half dozen or so games while spending most of his time as a Blue Jacket on the road. If he wants to play again next season, he will need to spend this time trying to put up decent enough numbers to earn himself a contract over the summer.
There is one last option: Quick could let me take his place for the last six weeks of the season. All I ask is that he give me 50% of his remaining salary. He can spend the time with his family and I’ll fill the roster spot. Larsen can even start me a few times. That would certainly help with the tank effort.