3 goalies the Kings should target in Quick's absence

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports / USA TODAY Sports

Dean Lombardi's phone could start getting a little busier.

The Los Angeles Kings are already aware that goaltender Jonathan Quick will be out long term, even though the team looks to have received some goods news in that Quick will not need surgery.

The club lost a dreadful 6-3 contest to the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday, where relief netminder Jeff Zatkoff allowed five goals - many of them of the questionable variety - on just 16 shots through 40 minutes.

In turn, it looks as though the Kings could be forced to make a deal to find a goalie capable of keeping the team afloat in the Western Conference.

With only $1.5 million in cap space available, the team must be frugal in its search. Here are three potential candidates.

Karri Ramo

Ramo certainly wasn't a rock for the Calgary Flames last season. But he's proven capable of manning the crease full time in the past.

The 30-year-old is also a free agent, so the Kings won't have to worry about giving up a potential asset for what could be just a few months of service, and they should be able to dictate his asking price.

Ramo posted a modest .909 save percentage and a 2.63 goals-against average in 37 games last season. He's no stud, but could be worth the risk.

Darcy Kuemper

This past June - following the signings of Frederik Andersen with the Toronto Maple Leafs and Cam Ward with the Carolina Hurricanes - clubs began kicking the tires on Kuemper.

The Minnesota Wild netminder has sat in the backup position for the past handful of seasons, waiting for his moment to claim a starting position.

With Devan Dubnyk in the mix for the Wild, that seems unlikely, so a spot with the Kings could be a perfect fit for both parties. The 26-year-old played just 21 games last season, but posted a respectable .915 save percentage and a 2.43 goals-against average.

He comes in at a cool $1.55 million - good for the Kings' budget - and, at just 26 years of age, Kuemper has the potential to grow with the club if they choose to keep him long term.

Michal Neuvirth

Neuvirth would be an ideal fit for the Kings.

The 28-year-old has a cap hit of $1.625 million and has more games under his belt than the two men above.

What could make a deal tough, however, is Neuvirth has provided great value to the Flyers over the past couple seasons, and it wouldn't be surprising if the club wanted to hold on to him.

Last season, Neuvirth bested teammate Steve Mason with a .924 save percentage and a 2.27 goals-against average. He also took over for Mason in the postseason, where he was nearly unbeatable with a shining .981 save percentage, while allowing just two goals in three games.

Neuvirth is off to a mediocre start to the year, but he is capable of taking on a starter role and would surely welcome as much given the opportunity.

Honorable Mentions

Scott Darling - The Blackhawks backup has posted solid numbers in relief for Corey Crawford when needed over the past few seasons.

Eddie Lack - He has had stints as a starter and over his career has played his best hockey as a member of the Western Conference.

3 goalies the Kings should target in Quick's absence
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