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Los Angeles Kings Extend David Rittich to One-Year Contract – Hockey Writers – Los Angeles Kings

The Los Angeles Kings have signed goaltender David Rittich to a one-year, $1 million contract. Rittich joined the Kings organization as the third-string goaltender in the 2023 offseason but was called up to the NHL following Pheonix Copley's season-ending injury. Rittich went 13-6-3 with a 2.15 goals against average and a .921 save percentage (SV%).

Related: Targets for the Los Angeles Kings' 2024 NHL Draft

Rittich has been a hero for the Kings following Copley's injury, taking over as the starting goaltender at times when Cam Talbot struggled. He finished the season with a 13.8 goals-against-save-against-expectation (GSAx), which is the eighth-highest among all goaltenders this season, according to Money Puck. He also finished second in GSAx in 60 minutes (min. 15 games), behind only Anthony Stolarz.

David Rittich, Los Angeles Kings (Jess Starr/Hockey Writers)

The extension to Rittich indicates that the Kings will allow Talbot to leave in free agency as they search for a permanent starting goaltender. Prospect Erik Portillo will also need to wait to see the NHL until the 2025-26 season as a result of Rittich's extension. He led the Ontario Reign to playoff success, sweeping the Abbotsford Canucks in Round 2 of the Calder Cup Playoffs while leading all playoff hitters with a .956 SV%.

This is a great deal for the Kings to add a good goaltender who remains near the bottom of the league. Although he only played 24 games, this was the best season of Rittich's career, so there is something wrong with this contract. If he struggles, Los Angeles can send him to the American Hockey League (AHL) where he won't count against the salary.

Since the Kings are still looking for another goaltender to play with Rittich in the NHL next season, they will have to see how the playoffs go before deciding who is available. With reports that Los Angeles is inquiring about Linus Ullmark, Jacob Markstrom and Darcy Kuemper, it is clear that the team is looking for a top goaltender. For now, fans can only wait to see which strikers will be available this offseason.

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