Entering the 2015-16 season, the Los Angeles Kings have a big question that needs to be answered: what is going to happen with Anze Kopitar.
Arguably one of the most important pieces to both of Los Angeles’ Stanley Cup runs, Kopitar is set to become a free agent at the end of the season, and has made it known that he will not negotiate a deal once the season begins in October. This means that the clock is certainly ticking for both sides to reach an agreement to keep the 28-year old in Southern California for the foreseeable future.
In a small update on the matter, Kopitar is still hoping that a deal can be reached before puck drop on opening night. In an interview with ESPN, Kopitar says it’s ideal to get it done soon, but he knows that it’s a business which means that anything can happen. Still, according to reports from earlier this summer, re-signing Kopitar remains Los Angeles’ highest priority.
Kopitar’s current deal saw him get paid $47.6 million over a seven year period. Due to the fact that he’s been the team’s leading scorer for eight straight seasons, it may be safe to say that the Slovenian is set to receive a hefty raise. Whether it’s from the Kings or not remains to be seen.
The Kings opening game against the San Jose Sharks is less than a month away. If a deal can’t be reached by October 7, the questions about his status will only become more frequent despite no negotiations being expected until the season ends next spring.
Michael is a former Managing Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s covered the Buffalo Sabres, along with the NHL in general, for various outlets since 2009. His work has been featured on outlets such as Yahoo, Sports Illustrated and Fox Sports.