Things are looking bleak in net for the Los Angeles Kings – so bleak, in fact, that the club has just signed goaltending coach Dusty Imoo to a PTO to back up ECHLer Jack Flinn for the AHL’s Ontario Reign.
Imoo was signed to sit on the bench for the Kings’ AHL affiliate on Sunday, but it’s not the first time he’s suited up for the Reign this season already. He sat as backup to his own son Jonah – who was also on a PTO with the Reign this year – earlier in October; now, he’ll sit backup to Flinn, who is up from the Manchester Monarchs looking to help Ontario struggle through a depleted depth chart.
The Kings first lost starting netminder Jonathan Quick with a groin injury at the very beginning of the 2016-17 season, and he’s now out for months.
While the recalled Peter Budaj was sitting backup to Quick’s former backup Jeff Zatkoff, though, Zatkoff also went down with a groin injury of his own in practice. He’s now out for a few weeks as well.
That left the Kings with Budaj and reclamation-project netminder Jack Campbell to man the net at the NHL level, with no one left at the AHL level to take their place. The team brought in Jonah Imoo, a former SPHL netminder, to try and help out in the interim – but with an injury sustained this weekend of his own, the team is now down three netminders with few options left to turn to. They’re still waiting on relief netminder Anders Lindback, who signed earlier last week, to sort out a visa situation and join the club.
Imoo should be able to step in if needed, but he’s a bit of a question mark. The development coach – who has seen success working with prospects so far – hasn’t been on the ice as a pro netminder since the 2005-06 season, when he played his final year in the Asia Ice Hockey League. He hasn’t played pro in North America in even longer; the 46-year-old New Westminster, British Columbia native played his last ECHL game for the Erie Panthers in the 1991-92 season, and played in Japan from 1994 to 2006.
Hopefully, things will go well with the 20-year-old Flinn. Although he posted a .840 save percentage in his only game for Manchester this season, the prospect stands at 6 foot 8 and played in a whopping 64 games for the Mississauga Steelheads last year.
With their options dwindling, though, the Kings can only hope that Flinn and Imoo stay healthy.