(UPDATE: False alarm? Helene Elliott clarifies that Quick has only been allowed to work out with the Monarchs rather than play for them. The AHL says he can't, despite Dean Lombardi's feelings to the contrary. Congrats, Martin Jones -- you're safe!)
Martin Jones was an undrafted goaltender who played 39 games with the AHL Manchester Monarchs last season, serving as a Black Ace for the Los Angeles Kings during their Stanley Cup run. The 22-year-old is 5-2-1 for Manchester this season, with an impressive 1.62 GAA and a .939 save percentage.
But he's not Jonathan Quick. Which means he's going to be riding the pine with some frequency for the foreseeable future, as the Los Angeles Kings starting goaltender and Conn Smythe winner descends to the AHL during the NHL lockout.
Via Helene Elliott of the LA Times, why the Vezina nominee is allowed to play in the AHL:
Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick, winner of the Conn Smythe trophy as the most valuable player in the playoffs, will be assigned to Manchester (N.H.) of the American Hockey League this week as the next step in his recovery from postseason back surgery. General Manager Dean Lombardi confirmed on Monday that Quick will play for the Kings' top farm team, but Lombardi said he's not sure whether Quick's rehabilitation stint there will be limited to a specific number of games.
Although transactions are, in general, forbidden during the lockout this move is permitted because Quick's injury and surgery were hockey-related and occurred before the NHL imposed the lockout on Sept. 15.
Quick signed a 10-year, $58-million extension last summer with the Kings that kicks in for the 2013-14 season, should it actually occur.
His last games for the Monarchs came in the 2008-09 season, when he was 6-5-2 in 14 appearances. But a lot has changed since then. He's an elite, championship-caliber goalie. His puck-controlling Jedi powers activated. And his daughter provided the greatest interview moment of the Final. (Is she AHL eligible too?)
Ah, sweet, sweet exceptions to the rules. Say hi to Braden Holtby while you're there, sir.