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Kopitar Agrees to Eight-Year Extension with Kings

Extension to Pay Kopitar $10M on Average Per Year

NHL

LOS ANGELES-Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar has established himself as one of the league’s best center men  since entering into the NHL in 2006. That’s what usually happens when you win two Stanley Cups since 2012 and are nominated for the Selke Trophy as the league’s best defensive forward the last few years. However, at the start of this season, there was a bit of nervousness among Kings fans as Kopitar entered the final year of his contract without signing a new one. At one point, there were reports that both sides were “not even in the same ballpark” in terms of coming to an agreement. Saturday, that nervousness was put to rest.

Kopitar and the Kings agreed to an eight-year extension on Saturday, reportedly worth $80 million.

The 28-year-old Slovenian native leads Los Angeles with 23 assists and 35 points in 42 games this season. He has led the Kings in scoring each of the last eight seasons.

Even though Kopitar has been the team’s number one center the last few years, the deal probably took longer than expected to get done. Both sides were negotiating for six months prior to agreeing on the new deal.

Financial specifics were not disclosed, but, as stated earlier, the extension is reportedly worth $80 million. That would make Kopitar’s annual average value $10 million a season, which would be third-highest in the league, behind Chicago Blackhawks stars Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane ($10.5 million AAV). It will also make Kopitar the highest-paid player on the Kings roster.

The first two years include a $9 million signing bonus, according to Sportsnet. The first four years of the contract contain a no-move clause and the final four years a limited no-trade clause, according to TSN.

Photo Credit: Sarah A./via flickr.com

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