LA Kings Looking For Improvement, Consistency After All-Star Break

LA Kings center Anze Kopitar
(click above for larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

LOS ANGELES AND EL SEGUNDO, CA — With the National Hockey League’s All-Star break behind us, there is a bit of concern about the Los Angeles Kings as they enter February, a month in which they will play nine out 13 games on the road, including their annual Grammy road trip, a grueling seven-game road swing this time around.

Indeed, the team that led the Pacific Division by twelve points not so long ago has seen their lead drop to seven at the All-Star break.

The Kings’ lead over their division rivals has shrunk as they’ve sputtered in recent games—they have lost three out of their last five, and ended January winning just four of their last nine games.

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Beyond LA Kings’ Wildest Dreams: Vincent Lecavalier

LA Kings center Vincent Lecavalier
Photo courtesy Los Angeles Kings

EL SEGUNDO AND LOS ANGELES, CA — After signing with the Philadelphia Flyers in the 2013-14 season, superstar center Vincent Lecavalier played in just 133 regular season games and was out of the Flyers’ plans this season, playing in just seven games.

For a player who scored 411 goals and contributed 511 assists for 932 points in 1,170 regular season games in the National Hockey League, and won the Stanley Cup with the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2003-04, being relegated to the press box was very disappointing.

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LA Kings Anze Kopitar Becomes The NHL’s Newest $10 Million Man

LA Kings center Anze Kopitar, shown here at the team’s 2012 Stanley Cup Championship celebration
at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

LOS ANGELES — On January 16, the National Hockey League got its third $10 million man this season.

Prior to their game against the Ottawa Senators at Staples Center in Los Angeles on January 16, the Los Angeles Kings announced that they have signed star center Anze Kopitar to an eight-year contract extension, a deal that has a reported average annual value of $10 million per season.

As first reported by TSN’s Darren Dreger, Kopitar’s deal is heavily front-loaded, paying him $14 million the first year, $13 million the second year, $12 million the third year and $11 million in the fourth year. After that, he will earn $8 million in each of the next two years followed by $7 million in each of the final two years of the contract.

Dreger also reported that the extension includes a no-movement clause for the first four years of the deal, and a limited no-trade clause for the final four years.

As first reported by ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun, the contract extension also includes a $9 million bonus, payable on July 1, 2016, and another $9 million bonus, payable on July 1, 2017.

Following their 5-3 collapse against the Senators, Kopitar sat in his dressing room stall, waiting for the local media.

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Anze Kopitar Remains Coy With LA Kings Deal Apparently Imminent

LA Kings center Anze Kopitar, shown here at a recent practice.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

EL SEGUNDO, CA — As reported by TSN’s Darren Dreger and Bob McKenzie, the Los Angeles Kings and star center Anze Kopitar are apparently on the verge of agreeing to a reported eight-year contract with an annual average value of $10 million per season.

A Kings spokesperson told the local media that an announcement could come today or on Thursday.

But Kopitar wasn’t about to confirm anything after today’s practice at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, California.

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Former GM Dave Taylor Started LA Kings Down Championship Road: Anze Kopitar

LA Kings center Anze Kopitar
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: Davie Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

LOS ANGELES — Ten years ago last June, the Los Angeles Kings’ fortunes were dramatically changed in the annual National Hockey League draft, one that would set them on a course towards finally becoming a Stanley Cup Champion.

In the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, the year that Sidney Crosby was the runaway, consensus first overall selection by the Pittsburgh Penguins, big names like Bobby Ryan, Carey Price, Marc Staal, and T.J. Oshie were all selected in the first round. But perhaps the best player other than Crosby was not selected until the 11th overall pick, when the Kings were on the board.

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