After reports emerged earlier today that the Los Angeles Kings were getting close to a deal with goaltender Cal Petersen, PuckPedia reports that the three-year contract extension has been completed. Petersen will carry a cap hit of $5MM starting in the 2022-23 season, signaling that the Kings are ready to start a transition to him as the team’s next starting goaltender. PuckPedia adds the full breakdown:
- 2022-23: $1.0MM salary + $3.0MM signing bonus
- 2023-24: $1.0MM salary + $4.0MM signing bonus
- 2024-25: $6.0MM salary
Petersen, 26, may not be widely known across the NHL just yet, but he will be soon after taking over the Kings’ crease last season. Originally selected by the Buffalo Sabres in 2013, he actually left the University of Notre Dame a year early and became a free agent, deciding to sign with Los Angeles instead of Buffalo. It proved to be a good career move so far, as he quickly climbed the organizational depth chart, made his debut in 2018-19 and played in 35 of the team’s 56 games last season.
All Petersen has ever done is post strong numbers, and he now sits with a .916 through his first 54 NHL appearances. Though that certainly isn’t a lot of experience, the Kings are betting that his price would have gone even higher after the upcoming season where he is projected to take the lion’s share of the work. Jonathan Quick, who appeared to be on the verge of a bounce-back season at the beginning of the year, struggled to maintain his play and finished with a .898 save percentage in 22 appearances, the third season in a row he has posted a number below .905. Given that he’ll turn 36 partway through the upcoming season, the time is right for the team to transition toward Petersen and the future.
Of course, that doesn’t mean Quick is out of the picture. The veteran netminder will still carry a cap hit of $5.8MM this season and next, meaning as it currently stands the Kings have more than $10MM committed to goaltending in 2022-23.
This new contract for Petersen is buying out all unrestricted free agent years but does come in quite pricey. He’s now tied for the 13th-highest cap hit for a goaltender in 2022-23, meaning there will be plenty of pressure to prove his early success can continue.