Remember last year, when there was a distinct possibility that Trevor Lewis might go to arbitration? Talk about a distant memory. Lewis signed a one-year deal, prevented a game-winning goal in the season's first game, and has continued to do the things that make coaches and teammates drool. So it's no surprise that, of the Los Angeles Kings' seven pending unrestricted free agents, Dean Lombardi locked up Lewis first. The two-year contract extension keeps Lewis in a Kings uniform through 2015-16.
The cap hit is $1.525 million per year; it's a slight raise and perhaps a bit more than most of us would like to pay him, but it's also less than he would probably receive on the open market. This brings the Kings to a total of five NHL forwards signed past the end of next season. Anze Kopitar, Dustin Brown, Jeff Carter, and Mike Richards are established members of the Kings' long-term plans; this makes it clear that Lewis is also in those plans.
Lewis hasn't chipped in on offense as much as he did last season, but he has established a career high in goals despite going scoreless for three months to open the season. On the other end of the ice, he's third among forwards in PK time, and he's also receiving the third-toughest zone starts among forwards (behind Kopitar and Jarret Stoll in both categories.) He also got invited to Olympic camp!
Lewis hasn't been quite as crucial to the Kings' success this year as he was for the last couple seasons, but he's been steady and fits well on the Kings' fourth line. As long as he stays there and chips in the occasional goal, he's a useful depth player, and one that the Kings will be happy to keep around.
Oh, and more game-winning goals in the playoffs would be a nice bonus....