“From a defensive standpoint or a match-up standpoint, are you going to match Kopi and Gabby, or are you going to match Carts?” he asked after the Kings won the 2014 Stanley Cup, in reference to Anze Kopitar and Jeff Carter. “It makes harder decisions for the opposing teams, and if you look at all the good teams, they always have that one-two punch, or sometimes that one-two-three punch.”
On Wednesday, the LA Kings secured that three-headed monster for at least the next two seasons, inking Gaborik to a 7-year, $34,125,000-million deal with a $4.875 million annual cap hit. That makes the leading goal scorer in the playoffs the fifth-highest paid forward on the LA Kings based on average salary.
Dean Lombardi, General Managing God.
The Kings traded forward Matt Frattin, a second round draft selection in the 2014 or 2015 NHL Draft (at Anaheim’s option) and a third round draft selection in the 2014 NHL Draft to the Columbus Blue Jackets on March 5 for pending UFA Gaborik.
It became obvious, quite quickly, that his combination of skill and speed was a better fit for the Kings than it was for the grinding Jackets. There was no better example of that than in the playoffs, when he tallied 14 goals.
But more importantly, he's the "third punch." He doesn't need to be THE MAN in Los Angeles. And that's the right situation for him.
There are always going to be questions about his health and fragility. There is no question that, when healthy, he brings an elite level of offense and the Kings are getting it for less than $5 million annually.
So now the Kings have Kopitar signed through 2016, with an extension in the works one assumes, Carter through 2022 and Gaborik through 2021.
This contract, the player, this price … there’s something dynastic about it.
And if it doesn't work out, then it's still a contract that very cap friendly for someone else.