By signing burgeoning 23-year-old defenseman Slava Voynov to a six-year, 25-million dollar extension, general manager Dean Lombardi has crossed off the most important task from his pre-July 5 checklist.

Voynov’s contract, which averages 4.17 million dollars per year through 2019, is a palatable cap hit for a team that now has 7.7 million dollars with which to allot to eight players to comprise a full roster.

Past any salary cap jangling, the contract could turn out to be a significant coup for Lombardi. Though the circumstances amongst contracts differ – it takes less money to entice a player to commit long-term to Los Angeles than it would for Nashville or Phoenix, for example – the 4.17 million dollar cap hit is actually closer to the former rather than the latter targeted in the 3.5-to-5 million dollar ballpark LA Kings Insider had projected last month.

A look at comparable contracts reveals that the Kings appear to be in a completely fair situation considering what they’ll commit to a dynamic young player whom they’ll have between the ages of 23 and 29. Voynov, a coveted right-shooting defenseman, followed up a 48-game, 25-point (6-19=25) regular season with an 18-game, 13-point (6-7=13) playoff run. Four of his six playoff goals were game-winners.

Similar contracts, courtesy of CapGeek:
Player, age: Annual cap hit / Expiration of contract – Team
Keith Ballard, 30: 4.2 / 2015 – Vancouver
Ed Jovanovski, 36: 4.13 / 2015 – Florida
Tomas Kaberle, 35: 4.25 / 2014 – Montreal
Marc-Edouard Vlasic, 26: 4.25 / 2018 – San Jose
Anton Volchenkov, 31: 4.25 / 2016 – New Jersey
Mark Giordano, 29: 4.02 / 2016 – Calgary
Roman Josi, 23: 4.0 / 2020 – Nashville
Andrej Meszaros, 27 4.0 / 2014 – Philadelphia
Tim Gleason, 30: 4.0 / 2016 – Carolina
Zbynek Michalek, 30: 4.0 / 2015 – Phoenix
Filip Kuba, 36: 4.0 / 2014 – Florida
Cam Fowler, 21: 4.0 / 2018 – Anaheim
Jack Johnson, 26: 4.36 / 2018 – Columbus

Voynov and Drew Doughty becoming unrestricted free agents together in the summer of 2019 is a concern, though with the Kings’ window of opportunity appearing to be sturdily propped open this decade, it’s certainly something that the team won’t be losing any sleep over for the foreseeable future.

This does have an impact on the team’s efforts to re-sign veterans Rob Scuderi and Dustin Penner. Los Angeles has an average of just over $959,000 per roster spot to allot to free agents, a group that includes RFAs Kyle Clifford, Trevor Lewis, Jordan Nolan, Alec Martinez, Keaton Ellerby, Jake Muzzin and Jonathan Bernier and UFAs Brad Richardson, Scuderi and Penner.

Bernier will be traded soon, and the versatile Richardson has also likely played his last game as a King. For Scuderi to re-sign without any current contracts leaving the table, he’d have to accept less than what he’d earn on the open market, while Dustin Penner would have to agree to a friendlier, hometown discount. At this point, it appears unlikely that either player will remain with Los Angeles next season.

Voynov, who was also pursued by club Traktor Chelyabinsk, receives a fitting and well-deserved reward after committing to the Kings and opening the season in AHL-Manchester during the lockout despite continued overtures from his hometown KHL club.

“They were all over him again,” Lombardi said in January. “‘Come back here. Let them let you go. You shouldn’t have to go to the minors. You won a Stanley Cup. We’ll pay you two million dollars.’”

Not only did Voynov continue his commitment to the Kings, he thrived in Manchester and completed his AHL stint with the firm backing of his general manager.

“Now, the next thing, is the guy going to pout? He, for the most part, played his ass off,” Lombardi said.

“That was a pleasant surprise over there. He didn’t get permission [to go to Russia], and it didn’t affect him at all. He has grown so much as a person and in his maturity since he was drafted here.”

Rules for Blog Commenting
  • - No profanity, slurs or other offensive language. Replacing letters with symbols does not turn expletives into non-expletives.
  • - Personal attacks against other blog commenters, and/or blatant attempts to antagonize other commenters, are not tolerated. Respectful disagreement is encouraged. Posts that continually express the same singular opinion will be deleted.
  • - Comments that incite political, religious or similar debates will be deleted.
  • - Please do not discuss, or post links to, websites that illegally stream NHL games.
  • - Posting under multiple user names is not allowed. Do not type in all caps. All violations are subject to comment deletion and/or banning of commenters, per the discretion of the blog administrator.
Alec martinez

#27 | 6′ 1″ | 210 lb | Age: 29

Born: July 26, 1987
Birthplace: Rochester Hills, MI, USA
Position: D
Handedness: Left

Bio

Bio: Martinez was drafted by the LA Kings in the 2007 Draft, while playing for Miami University. He has since become a two-time Stanley Cup champion and the 17th man in Stanley Cup playoff history to score the Cup-winning goal in overtime.

VIEW ALEC MARTINEZ POSTS
Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

Born: August 24, 1987
Birthplace: Jesenice, SVN
Position: C
Handedness: Left

Bio

As the 11th overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Kopitar became the first Slovenian to play in the NHL. Kopitar has spent his entire NHL career with the Kings, and following the 2015–16 season, was named the Kings’ captain. Noted for both his offensive and defensive play, Kopitar was awarded the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward in the NHL in 2016.

VIEW ANZE KOPITAR POSTS
Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

Born: December 8, 1989
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Right

Bio

Bio: Doughty is a Canadian defenceman who was selected second overall by the Kings in the 2008 Draft. Doughty made his NHL debut in 2008 as an 18-year-old and was named to the All-Rookie Team. He is a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Kings, a two-time Olympic gold medallist with the Canadian national team, and a Norris Trophy finalist.

VIEW DREW DOUGHTY POSTS
Tyler Toffoli

#73 | 6′ 1″ | 200 lb | Age: 24

Born: April 24, 1992
Birthplace: Scarborough, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right

Bio

Toffoli is a Canadian professional ice hockey forward, drafted by the Kings in the second round of the 2010 Draft. Toffoli scored his first career NHL goal in his second game in a 4–0 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes in 2013. He was also named the 2012–13 AHL All-Rookie Team.
VIEW TYLER TOFFOLI POSTS

Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

Born: January 1, 1985
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right

Bio

Carter began his hockey career playing in the Ontario Hockey League in Canada before joining the AHL and playing for the Philadelphia Flyers. He was then traded to the Colombus Blue jackets before joining the LA Kings in 2012, where he has since won two Stanley Cups with the Kings.

VIEW JEFF CARTER POSTS
Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

Born: January 21, 1986
Birthplace: Milford, CT, USA
Position: G
Handedness: Left

Bio

Bio: Quick is the current goaltender for the LA Kings and was selected by Los Angeles at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Previously, Quick was a silver medalist with USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics. He’s won two Stanley Cup championships with the Kings, along with being the most recent goaltender to be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs.

VIEW JONATHAN QUICK POSTS