Here’s the story I filed for the paper regarding the LaBarbera-to-Vancouver trade…
By Rich Hammond
The Kings’ long quest to find stable goaltending took another twist Tuesday when they traded Jason LaBarbera to the Vancouver Canucks for a 2009 seventh-round draft pick.
LaBarbera, who had a 5-8 record, a 2.83 goals-against average and a .893 save percentage, fell behind Erik Ersberg (8-5, 2.38, .903) on the goalie depth chart and became expendable with the recent emergence of rookie Jonathan Quick (2-3, 1.72, .937).
Quick, 22, who has recorded two shutouts this season, and Ersberg, 26, are considered better long-term options than LaBarbera, 28, who will be a free agent next summer.
LaBarbera’s Kings career was filled with highs and lows. It started in the summer of 2005 when the Kings signed LaBarbera, who had been one of the top goalies in the AHL.
After a surprisingly strong training camp, LaBarbera split time with Mathieu Garon, but after some inconsistency, LaBarbera spent the 2006-07 season back in the AHL.
LaBarbera spent this summer working with a trainer and nutritionist, reported to camp in the best shape of his career and was designatd, by coach Terry Murray, as the Kings’ No. 1 goalie, but after 10 games, he was essentially supplanted by Ersberg.
The move to Vancouver might be welcomed by LaBarbera, who is a native of British Columbia. With No. 1 goalie Roberto Luongo out with a groin strain, the Canucks have been going with Curtis Sanford and rookie Cory Schneider in goal.
Quick is expected to start when the Kings host the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday.
Also on Tuesday, the Kings assigned rookie forward Trevor Lewis to Manchester. In the next coupe days, they’re expected to recall forward Brian Boyle from Manchester.