The Kings traded goaltender Jason LaBarbera to the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday for a seventh-round pick in the June entry draft, clearing the way for impressive rookie Jonathan Quick to stay with the team and share time with Erik Ersberg.
"We think Quick is at the level where he can be able to do at least the backup role," General Manager Dean Lombardi said. "We thought this would take a little longer for him, but we think we can accelerate things."
The move also allows prime prospect Jonathan Bernier to play most of the games for Manchester of the American Hockey League instead of splitting them with Quick. Another prospect, Jeff Zatkoff, will back up Bernier.
"It would have been hard to carry three goalies and we felt this was the best thing to do and try to get the most we could," Lombardi said.
LaBarbera, 28, was 5-8-4 in 19 games this season with two shutouts, a 2.83 goals-against average and .893 save percentage. He signed with the Kings as a free agent in 2005, but a quirk in the waiver process kept him in the minors for the entire 2006-07 season.
The Kings also returned winger Trevor Lewis to Manchester. He had one goal and three points in six games.