Jonathan Quick is on the move again, back to the Pacific Division to solve the Vegas Golden Knights’ latest goaltending quandary.
Vegas acquired Quick from Columbus on Thursday, less than 36 hours after the Los Angeles Kings traded the two-time Stanley Cup-winning goaltender and 2014 playoff MVP to the Blue Jackets.
After losing All-Star starter Logan Thompson to an injury, the Golden Knights sent a 2025 seventh-round pick and journeyman netminder Michael Hutchinson to complete the deal with Columbus, which retained half of Quick’s salary. General manager Kelly McCrimmon doesn’t expect injuries to Thompson or Laurent Brossoit to be long term but inquired and make this trade to have a safety net in the 37-year-old Quick.
“(Quick has) He’s had a tougher year and needs a change,” McCrimmon said at a news conference in Henderson, Nevada. “We’re all about what lies ahead. … I think he’s going to come in and give us really good goaltending.”
Another playoff-bound team in the Western Conference upgraded at forward, with Edmonton getting Nick Bjugstad from Arizona. The Coyotes got a 2023 third-round pick and prospect Michael Kesselring for Bjugstad and minor-leaguer Cam Dineen.
“Definitely a team I was hoping I was getting the call about,” Bjugstad said. “Can’t wait to join the boys and try to help this team win a Stanley Cup.”
Bjugstad going off the market and Quick getting dealt again leaves Philadelphia winger James van Riemsdyk and Anaheim defenseman John Klingberg as the top players left to be traded before the 3 p.m. EST Friday deadline. Chicago’s Max Domi is also expected to change places after being scratched for trade-related reasons.
In by far the busiest two-week stretch leading up to the deadline over the past decade, teams have made 42 trades involving 82 players — including Quick twice and counting the contracts of Shea Weber and Jakub Voracek — and 53 draft picks, leaving slim pickings for what’s usually a frantic final day.
“I haven’t seen anything like it at all,” Boston Bruins president Cam Neely said. “I think everybody is looking at their clubs and saying, ‘We have a chance.’ And we’re no different, obviously, with the season we’ve had.”
Neely’s NHL-leading Bruins got the action going Thursday by acquiring winger Tyler Bertuzzi from Detroit for a top-10 protected first-round pick in 2024 and a fourth-rounder in 2025, the latest move by a Stanley Cup contender to keep pace in the loaded East. The Red Wings are retaining half of Bertuzzi’s salary for the rest of the season.
Bruins coach Jim Montgomery called Bertuzzi an excellent player and a “great complementary winger.”
“He’s someone that understands how to win,” Montgomery said, citing Bertuzzi’s success in junior hockey and as playoff MVP when Grand Rapids won the American Hockey League’s Calder Cup in 2017. “He goes hard to hard areas. He’s a great net-front guy, 5 on 5, power play. He’s got a lot of sandpaper to him.”
Bertuzzi is a 28-year-old pending free agent winger who gives Boston depth up front and insurance for injured winger Taylor Hall. The team put Hall on long-term injured reserve, ruling him out until late March.
Enter Bertuzzi, who has himself been limited by injuries this season. He has 14 points in 29 games.
Bertuzzi, who drew headlines in 2020 for being one of very few unvaccinated players in hockey, has remained a mainstay in the league. He has 88 goals and 114 assists in 305 regular-season games and has yet to reach the playoffs in the NHL.
That will almost certainly change next month. The Bruins are on pace for 64 wins and 135 points, which would be the best regular season in hockey history with records in each of those categories.
Four years since the Lightning tied the league record for wins and got swept in the first round of the playoffs, the Bruins aren’t standing pat. They got defenseman Dmitry Orlov and forward Garnet Hathaway from Washington last week — a deal that made them bigger and tougher in advance of a rough road through the East.
It got rougher in recent days.
Metropolitan Division-leading Carolina acquired defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere and winger Jesse Puljujarvi, the New York Rangers traded for three-time Stanley Cup champion Patrick Kane, the Islanders got depth forward Pierre Engvall, Tampa Bay gave up five picks for 25-year-old forward Tanner Jeannot, Pittsburgh shuffled its roster to bring in Mikael Gralund and Toronto continued a roster makeover that has added up to six new players joining the Maple Leafs. Even Ottawa, five points out of a playoff spot, made a big splash by getting Jakob Chychrun from Arizona.
Entering Thursday, the Red Wings are tied in the standings with the Senators, but general manager Steve Yzerman is opting to sell rather than buy. Before moving on from Bertuzzi, he traded defenseman Filip Hronek to Vancouver in a deal that got his team a first-round pick.
Detroit also took care of some internal business Wednesday, signing captain Dylan Larkin to a $69.6 million, eight-year extension to keep the three-time All-Star center in the fold through 2031. Boston did the same Thursday with MVP candidate David Pastrnak, inking him to an eight-year deal worth $90 million — the sixth-most lucrative contract in NHL history.
Before trading Bjugstad to Edmonton, Arizona got a sixth-round pick to take Voracek’s contract from the Blue Jackets and can use his $8.25 million cap hit through next season to avoid dipping below the salary floor, while Columbus gets some financial flexibility. His career is likely over because of concussions.
Chicago also got Anders Bjork from Buffalo for future considerations, and St. Louis re-signed Sammy Blais to a $1 million, one-year extension. The Blues reacquired Blais in the trade that sent Vladimir Tarasenko to the Rangers, who now have a lineup with the prolific Russian winger and Kane, who made his debut at Madison Square Garden on Thursday night.
Freelance writer Mike Cranston in Boston contributed to this report.
John Wawrow And Stephen Whyno, The Associated Press