Pushed down while I was getting stories out on Friday and preparing for Saturday’s broadcast, I neglected to post links to several interesting ESPN.com articles regarding the Kings’ contract negotiations with Anze Kopitar. As a continued disclaimer, this is a reminder that today is the fifth day of October, and you should not at all be worried or concerned that Kopitar, who is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, is not yet signed beyond the upcoming season.
From Craig Custance (Friday):
The Kings and Anze Kopitar’s camp met this week to see if they could move closer to a new contract beyond this season. As it stands now, Kopitar and Steven Stamkos would be the two headliners of the 2016 unrestricted free-agent class. The Kings’ pitch is fairly simple: The lower the annual average value of Kopitar’s next deal, the better chance he can win another Stanley Cup or two in Los Angeles. The counter is just as simple: Kopitar has earned a deal similar to that of Jonathan Toews, at $10.5 million per season. There has been give on both sides in these talks, but it would take even more to get things done before the season starts. The other interesting factor is the club’s stance on no-movement clauses. The only player signed by GM Dean Lombardi who has trade protection is Dustin Brown, and it’s limited. It’s hard to imagine a player of Kopitar’s caliber doing a deal without a full no-move clause. That’s another hurdle in a negotiation that still has a few remaining.
From Pierre LeBrun (Saturday):
There were further negotiations this week between the Kings and Pat Brisson, Anze Kopitar’s agent. I still don’t sense anything is close yet on an extension, but the dialogue remains healthy and positive. Kopitar would like to get it done before the puck drops next week for the regular season and while talks should resume again next week, it seems like this negotiation might need a bit more time. We shall see.