Marian Gaborik had this to say about his comfort level after joining Anze Kopitar, Dustin Brown and the rest of the Kings after a March 5 trade from the Columbus Blue Jackets: “The guys welcomed me warmly. Right away, I felt comfortable. That’s very important, to feel comfortable. To play along with ‘Kopi,’ he’s a great player … and then ‘Brownie,’ the way we clicked so quickly, it was great.”
Here’s what forward Marian Gaborik said Wednesday of agreeing to a new seven-year contract with the defending Stanley Cup champion Kings: “Hopefully, we can just keep this train rolling, … I knew I could get maybe more money if I had gone to free agency, but it wasn’t about money. I wanted to be part of a great team. … That was my No. 1 priority, to get a deal done here.”
The defending Stanley Cup champion Kings and veteran forward Marian Gaborik agreed Wednesday on a new seven-season contract that will pay him an average of $4.9 million and further cement a championship roster for years to come. Gaborik, Dustin Brown, Jeff Carter, Drew Doughty, MIke Richards, Jonathan Quick and Slava Voynov are all signed through 2019.
Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick underwent wrist surgery Tuesday and could be sidelined for between 10 and 12 weeks, casting doubt on his availability for the start of training camp in September. The Kings’ first exhibition game is scheduled for Sept. 22, a pair of split-squad games against the Arizona (formerly Phoenix) Coyotes. Quick was injured during the Kings’ second-round playoff series against the Ducks. Greg Wyshynski of the Puck Daddy blog first reported the surgery.
The Kings and defenseman Matt Greene agreed Tuesday on a new four-season contract worth a reported $10.5 million. Greene, 31, was due to become an unrestricted free agent July 1, but the Kings moved quickly to keep him off the open market. It also could mean veteran defenseman Willie Mitchell, who also can become a UFA next week, does not return to the Kings.
Greene has been with the Kings since arriving in a 2008 trade with the Edmonton Oilers, helping the team win Stanley Cup championships in 2012 and ’14. The defensive-minded defenseman had six points, including two goals, in 38 games this past season. He also had four assists in 20 playoff games.
Anze Kopitar, the Kings’ top-line center, finished second in voting to Patrice Bergeron of the Boston Bruins in voting for the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the forward who excels at the defensive aspects of the game. Bergeron received 1,283 points, including 112 first-place votes. Kopitar had 840 points, including 20 first-place votes. Jonathan Toews of the Chicago Blackhawks was third with 624 points, including two first-place votes. Full disclosure: I voted Kopitar first and Bergeron second.
Here’s my ballot, cast in the middle of April:
Hart Trophy: Sidney Crosby, PIT, Ryan Getzlaf, ANA, Claude Giroux, PHI, Semyon Varlamov, COL, Jonathan Toews, CHI.
Norris Trophy: Drew Doughty, LAK, Shea Weber, NSH. Duncan Keith, CHI, Ryan Suter, MIN, Zdeno Chara, BOS.
Calder Torphy: Nathan MacKinnon, COL, Jacob Trouba, WPG, Hampus Lindholm, ANA, Ondrej Palat, TBL, Frederik Andersen, ANA.
Byng Trophy: Ryan O’Reilly, COL, Matt Duchene, COL, Patrick Marleau, SJS, Tyler Seguin, DAL, David Krejci, BOS.
Selke Trophy: Anze Kopitar, LAK, Patrice Bergeron, BOS, David Backes, STL, Jonathan Toews, CHI, Andrew Cogliano, ANA.
Here’s the defending Stanley Cup champion Kings’ 2014-15 schedule: http://www.nhl.com/ice/schedulebyseason.htm?season=20142015&gameType=2&team=LAK&network=&venue=
Las Vegas bookmakers Bovada don’t like the chances of Kings center Anze Kopitar winning the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the NHL’s best defensive forward when the league announces its awards Tuesday. Patrice Bergeron of the Boston Bruins is a 2/7 favorite to win the award, with Kopitar next at 11/4 and Jonathan Toews of the Chicago Blackhawks third at 15/1.
Here’s the Kings’ exhibition schedule:
Sept. 22, vs. Arizona, at Staples Center, 7:30 p.m. (split squad)
Sept. 22, at Arizona, 7 p.m. (split squad)
Sept. 25, vs. Ducks, at Staples Center, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 28, at Ducks, 5 p.m.
Sept. 30, at San Jose, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 2, vs. Colorado, at Colorado Springs, 6 p.m.
Oct. 4, vs. Colorado, at Las Vegas, 7 p.m.
FYI: The Phoenix Coyotes are now known as the Arizona Coyotes.