On Thursday, June 28, the Los Angeles Kings announced that they have reached an agreement with goaltender Jonathan Quick on a 10-year contract extension. The deal keeps Quick in a Kings uniform through the 2022-2023 season.
Some fans and media members have been criticizing this contract, claiming that a 10-year extension is too long. I suppose those feelings are understandable, given that Quick will be 37 years old when the deal expires. After all, there's no way to predict whether he'll be able to remain healthy throughout his career. Since two of Quick's greatest attributes now are his speed and reflexes, it's fair to question whether the Kings were wise to put their faith in his ability to maintain that same skill level through the 2023 season.
On the other hand, Quick has earned this contract. He's not a one-year wonder who has yet to prove himself in the NHL. No, Quick has consistently performed well in his five years with the Kings. His steadying hand in goal helped the team finally make the playoffs again after a seven-year absence from the postseason. His 39 wins in 2009-2010 set a franchise single-season record.
Overall, Quick now holds five different all-time team records and 13 single-season records, and he's proven himself as one of the NHL's elite goaltenders. He's earned this 10-year contract, especially since the deal is only worth an estimated $5.8 million per season. That price tag is more than reasonable for a Conn Smythe-winning goaltender.
There's a good chance that Quick will lose some of his speed and reflexes as he gets older, but I have to believe that he will adjust, just like other goaltenders have done in the past. Quick means too much to the Kings and their fans for him to be allowed to test free agency. This was a move that general manager Dean Lombardi had to make if he wanted to keep the core of his team together long-term. Elite goaltenders are hard to come by, and it would be a colossal mistake to let one slip away.
Ten years is a long time to perform at a high level, but I think that Quick has more than proven himself as a top-five goaltender in the NHL. The Kings did the right thing by signing Quick to the extension.
Derek Ciapala has been a Kings fan since the late 1980s. His favorite Kings moment is when they beat the New Jersey Devils in six games to win the 2012 Stanley Cup Championship. You can follow him on Twitter @dciapala or on facebook here.