If the Los Angeles Kings are looking to repeat as Stanley Cup Champions, they just took a step in the right direction. The Kings announced Wednesday that they had re-signed leading playoff goal scorer Marian Gaborik to a seven-year contract. Gaborik was set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
While financial terms were not disclosed, the deal will reportedly carry an annual cap hit of $4.875 million.
The 32-year old Gaborik was acquired by the Kings at the trade deadline from the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for forward Matt Frattin, a second round pick previously acquired from Toronto (the Maple Leafs can decide if it is in 2014 or 2015) and a conditional 2014 third-round pick that became a second-round pick if the Kings either made it to the second round of the playoffs, or were able to re-sign Gaborik. They did both.
With 14 playoff goals, Gaborik joined Claude Lemieux (1996-1997) as the only players in NHL history to have scored at least 10 goals in the regular season, then surpassed that total in the playoffs. Gaborik had a career-low 11 goals and 30 points in 41 regular season contests; then scored 22 points in 26 playoff games en route to capturing his first Stanley Cup.
The Kings retained another member of their Stanley Cup-winning squad on Tuesday, signing 31-year-old defenseman Matt Greene to a four-year contract worth $2.5 million per season. An alternate captain for Los Angeles, Greene was also a member of the Kings’ Stanley Cup-winning squad in 2012.
With the signings of Gaborik and Greene, the Kings only have one remaining unrestricted free agent: Defenseman Willie Mitchell.