Petersen being placed on waivers was a surprising move considering he has been seen as the successor to two-time Stanley Cup winner Jonathan Quick. Petersen is in the first season of a three-year, $15 million contract while Quick is in the final season of his deal.
General manager Rob Blake said the plan is to get Petersen as much time in net as possible in games with the Orlando Reign.
“I think the idea here is Cal can go down and get that structure that we believe in, and come back up and help us. I mean, that’s as simple as it gets,” Blake said. “I trust in Billy Ranford and our goalie coaches to continue to work with him. But I think the biggest thing from our point was he’s got to get in games continuously here to get his game back to the level that he wants and we want.”
Petersen’s .868 save percentage is the second-lowest in the NHL. In 10 games, he has a 5-3-2 record and a 3.75 goals-against average. The 28-year-old goaltender is in his third full season with the Kings and fifth overall.
Last season, Petersen was 20-14-2 in 37 regular-season games and posted a 2.89 GAA and .895 save percentage as the Kings made the playoffs for the first time in four seasons.
Coach Todd McLellan said the move wasn’t just a reaction to Tuesday’s loss but had been considered for a couple weeks. He also thinks it could serve as a wake-up call to the rest of the locker room. The Kings are 26th in goals-against average (3.56) and last in save percentage (.882).
“Can it send a message to the team? It damn well should because we share in that transaction, all of us do,” McLellan said.
The Kings are third in the Pacific Division but have only two wins in their last eight games. Three of the losses came in overtime, where they were able to at least pick up a point.