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Peter Budaj’s Last Words As An LA King Before Trade To Tampa Bay

Former Los Angeles Kings goaltender Peter Budaj (left) with
Kings goalie Jonathan Quick during a recent practice.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

EL SEGUNDO, CA — The Los Angeles Kings held an optional practice on Sunday, February 26, before their afternoon flight to St. Paul, Minnesota where they will skate against the Minnesota Wild tonight.

Goaltenders Jonathan Quick and Peter Budaj both skated in the optional practice and after the skate, Budaj spoke exclusively with Frozen Royalty, and it was clear that he had no idea that a trade involving him was coming down just a few hours later. Either that, or he put in an Oscar-caliber performance during the interview in which he spoke of what he was able to accomplish with the Kings this season.

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Jeff Zatkoff: “I Haven’t Come Up With a Save When We Needed It and That’s the Bottom Line”

Embed from Getty Images

EL SEGUNDO, CA — For Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jeff Zatkoff, the 2016-17 season has been a bit of a nightmare.

With a 2-7-1 record, a 2.94 goals against average and a poor .881 save percentage in just twelve appearances, the 29-year-old native of Detroit, Michigan is fighting to get back on top of his game.

“It’s been a frustrating year,” he admitted. “If you look at it, I think I’ve had seven starts. I think most of my appearances have been in relief. I’m not making excuses, by any means. I haven’t won enough games.”

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LA Kings: No Quick? No Problem

Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick, shown here
during practice at the Toyota Sports Center
in El Segundo, California.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Looking back to a cold, dark night in Buffalo, New York on November 12, 2013, Los Angels Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick suffered a grade 2 groin strain in a game against the Buffalo Sabres, forcing him to miss significant time.

Media, pundits and fans—just about everyone predicted that the Kings would go into a tailspin without their superstar goaltender. But what happened next surprised shocked the hockey world, as Ben Scrivens and Martin Jones stepped up to backstop the Kings to points in 17 of their next 19 games, putting the Kings in position to go on to win the 2014 Stanley Cup Championship.

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LA Kings Are Targeting Goalies In 2016 NHL Draft…But That Probably Doesn’t Mean What You Think

2016 NHL DRAFT: The biggest need in the Los Angeles Kings player pipeline is in goal, with only one drafted goaltender prospect in their development system who is a long way away from the professional ranks. This story will look at the current situation and how it impacts their’ approach to the 2016 NHL Draft.


LOS ANGELES — When you look up and down at the Los Angeles Kings system, Jonathan Quick is firmly entrenched as their number one goaltender. But with Jhonas Enroth heading to unrestricted free agency, the job of backup goaltender is expected to fall to Peter Budaj, who lit up the American Hockey League this season as the best goaltender in the league with the Ontario Reign.

But behind Budaj, the only prospect the Kings have in goal is 20-year-old Alec Dillon, who they selected in the fifth round (150th overall) of the 2014 National Hockey League Draft.

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LA Kings, Anaheim Ducks Minor League Teams Face-Off In AHL Playoffs

LA Kings center prospect Nic Dowd is expected to be an impact player in the Ontario Reign’s
second round playoff matchup against the San Diego Gulls.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

ONTARIO, CA — They say rivalries can’t be true until teams meet in the playoffs, but whoever “they” happens to be must not have seen the American Hockey League’s Ontario Reign and San Diego Gulls go at each other in their first season as divisional rivals this year.

The Reign and the Gulls have only met twelve times, and were affiliates in separate locations in prior seasons, but the rivalry is very strong between the pair of prospect-building affiliates, the Los Angeles Kings and the Anaheim Ducks, respectively, of the National Hockey League.

“It’s a fun rivalry, especially with what the Kings and Ducks created,” Ontario forward Sean Backman said in video interviews with Reign public relations staff. “The Gulls and the Reign, we’re not too fond of each other, it’s gonna be a lot of fun.”

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