Lombardi: Kings, Kopitar not close in talks - LA Kings Insider

Anze Kopitar has been eligible to sign a contract extension with the Los Angeles Kings since July 1, but don’t expect an announcement on an extension for the star center in the immediate future.

The Kings and Kopitar are are “not even in the ballpark” in their discussions, Kings General Manager Dean Lombardi told LA Kings Insider over email when asked whether the two sides were “close” to reaching an agreement.

Kopitar has one year remaining on the seven-year, $47.6-million contract he signed in September, 2009. The nine-year NHL veteran will be paid $7.7-million in the final season of a contract that carries a $6.8-million cap hit. In 683 career games, Kopitar has 218 goals, 610 points and a plus-45 rating. The two-time Stanley Cup winner was a finalist for the Selke Trophy in each of the last two seasons and was a Lady Byng Memorial Trophy finalist in 2014-15, when he was an NHL All-Star for the third time. In 70 career playoff games, Kopitar has 18 goals, 60 points and a plus-22 rating.

There is still ample time for the two sides to reach an agreement. Kopitar’s contract expires on July 1, 2016, and given the 28-year-old’s place amongst the game’s most elite centers, it would be among the most surprising developments of the upcoming season were the discussions to drag out until then. Given today’s exchange, though, it does not appear as though an agreement is on the immediate horizon.

A follow-up email to Lombardi to gauge whether discussions would extend into the season or whether they’d be shelved in the hypothetical event the two sides would be unable to come to an agreement before the start of the regular season was not immediately returned.

An article posted by Ken Campbell of The Hockey News on Monday hypothesized that one reason for an early delay in agreements for new contracts for Kopitar and Steven Stamkos was because of the continued diminishing value of the Canadian dollar, which restricts the extent to which the salary cap raises annually. It also (inevitably) links Kopitar’s and Stamkos’ contract negotiations to the eight-year, $84-million contracts signed by Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane in the summer of 2014.

From The Hockey News:

When Bowman signed Toews and Kane to their contract extensions last July 9, the Canadian dollar was trading at 94 cents compared to the U.S. dollar and there was no reason to believe things would change drastically. But the Canadian dollar has lost a mind-blowing 20 percent of its value since then, trading at 76 cents today.

Would Bowman have signed those deals with Kane and Toews if he had owned the crystal ball that almost every economist on either side of the border did not have at the time? We’ll never know, but we do now know that it will be much, much more difficult to fit those two deals under the salary cap if the Canadian economy continues its decline.

According to War-on-Ice, the Kings have $50.98-million allotted to 15 players for the 2016-17 season, figures that include a cap recapture penalty for Mike Richards but do not account for Slava Voynov’s contract. In addition to Kopitar, Milan Lucic, Trevor Lewis, Christian Ehrhoff, Jeff Schultz, Jhonas Enroth and Jamie McBain are due to become unrestricted free agents on July 1, while Brayden McNabb is eligible to become a restricted free agent.

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Adrian Kempe

#9 | 6′ 2″ | 195 lb | Age: 21

Born: September 13, 1996
Birthplace: Kramfors, SWE
Position: LW
Handedness: Left


Kempe was selected by the Kings in the first round (29th overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft.

Alex Iafallo

#19 | 6′ | 185 lb | Age: 23

Born: December 21, 1993
Birthplace: Eden, NY, USA
Position: C
Handedness: Left


Iafallo was signed by the Kings as an unrestricted free agent on April 18, 2017.

Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

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


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.

Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

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


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.

Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

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


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.

Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

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


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.