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Deep Blue Sea: Injuries stacking up early

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LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 17: Jonathan Quick #32 of the Los Angeles Kings allows a goal to Brayden McNabb #3 of the Vegas Golden Knights for a 1-0 lead during the second period in Game Four of the Western Conference First Round during the 2018 NHL Stanley C Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

The Sharks dealt with their own injury news yesterday when Joe Thornton was placed on injured reserve with knee swelling, but they aren’t the only ones confronting injury early on this season.

The Los Angeles Kings announced yesterday that Jonathan Quick was injured during practice and would be placed on injured reserve. Which would all be well and good, except —

Except the Kings were too close to the cap to call up goaltender Peter Budaj.

So they had to do something a little bit complicated. First, Matt Luff was called up in a paper transaction, putting the Kings as close to the cap as they could get. Then Dustin Brown was put on long-term injured reserved (LTIR), as he was determined to be “out indefinitely” after teammate Anze Kopitar broke his finger with a puck in a preseason game against the Anaheim Ducks. The benefit of LTIR isn’t the player’s salary coming off the books, but instead allows the team to spend over the cap limit in the amount of the player’s cap hit minus the difference between the cap ceiling and the team’s total cap hit as of the time the player is placed on LTIR.

Once Brown was placed on LTIR, Luff was re-assigned back to the Ontario Reign and the Kings had enough cap space to recall Budaj. Make sense?

In other goaltenders-going-down news, our old pal James Reimer is getting an extended look with the Florida Panthers, as Roberto Luongo suffered a knee injury against the Tampa Bay Lightning in their season opener on Saturday. The injury occurred in the second period when teammate Frank Vatrano fell into Luongo.

Quick, Luongo and Thornton will all be eligible to play again next Sunday, but there’s not currently a timetable for any of them to return.

News & Notes

  • Finally, the Carolina Hurricanes are off to a good start, but more importantly, they’re having fun. This is awesome and I hope it continues:

Scores & Recaps