Was there ever any doubt? Despite lots of NHL insiders expressing (feigning?) concern about the looming free agency of Anze Kopitar, and despite the knowledge that Dean Lombardi and Pat Brisson (Kopitar's agent) were rather far apart when negotiations began, there was absolutely no way that #11 wasn't getting a new contract. According to reports this morning from Bob McKenzie, the Los Angeles Kings are ready to give him that contract. And it's a big one.
Anze Kopitar's 8-year, $80M ($10M AAV) contract with LAK is, finally, in final stages of paperwork. So not officially "done" but very close.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) January 13, 2016
The AAV is considerable, of course. It makes Kopitar only the third player in the NHL to cross that $10 million barrier, behind Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews. A year and a half ago we asked you to vote on whether you thought he would get that magic number, and 49% of you called it right. A difficult 2014-15, however, soured a lot of us (and the Kings, apparently) on shelling out that kind of dough, as Nick broke down during the offseason. Now? It's hard to say exactly what Kopitar is worth, but he's certainly good enough to warrant it this year and for the next few.
The deal isn't final, as Bob reminds us, so we will hold off on further analysis for now. The Kings appear to be working out a no-movement clause with Kopitar, which again underscores how important he is to this team. Stay tuned.
Hence the emphasis, for now, on "not done" just yet.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) January 13, 2016