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Kings sign Marian Gaborik to seven-year contract

Jun 25, 2014, 1:55 PM EDT

Marian Gaborik Getty Images

After he played a key role in them winning the Stanley Cup, the Los Angeles Kings didn’t want to let Marian Gaborik slip through their fingers as an unrestricted free agent. They managed to avoid that fate by signing him to a seven-year contract.

He will earn a little more than $34 million and come with a cap hit just below $5 million annually, according to Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos

When Gaborik joined the Kings, their ability to find the back of the net was a serious and ongoing concern, but he fit in almost instantly. He scored 14 goals and 22 points in 26 playoff games and provided the Kings with the flexibility to split up Anze Kopitar and Jeff Carter, giving the team a two strong scoring lines. Los Angeles ended up averaging 3.38 goals per game in the playoffs compared to 2.42 in the regular season.

Gaborik’s offensive abilities were hardly a revelation as he has reached or surpassed the 30-goal mark seven times, but the 32-year-old also has a lengthy injury history. For that reason, signing him through his late 30s is a considerable risk for the Kings.

That being said, he’s accepting a significantly smaller average salary than he’s enjoyed in the past, which is critical as Los Angeles attempts to keep its championship roster intact without reaching the cap ceiling.

Update: His exact average annual salary will be $4.875 million, per ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun

  1. storminator16 - Jun 25, 2014 at 1:57 PM

    I don’t like long contracts but that is major right there. I smell another Cup or two within those 7 years.

  2. ibieiniid - Jun 25, 2014 at 1:58 PM

    “He will earn a little more than $34 million per season”

    heads up, Dadoun.

    • ibieiniid - Jun 25, 2014 at 2:02 PM

      also “as he already has already reached”

      and if i wanna get nitpicky, “cap ceiling” is redundant. I won’t hold that one against you though, as veiled redundancy is usually funny to me. ATM Machine.

      • rayderray - Jun 25, 2014 at 2:35 PM

        With respect to there being a salary cap FLOOR, it isn’t necessarily redundant. And full disclosure: I accidentally “reported” your comment. I meant to hit reply, and brain farted. My bad Cap!

      • ibieiniid - Jun 25, 2014 at 4:07 PM

        not to be a d*** and prove myself right, but just out of curiosity, I went to the full text of the CBA (yeah, I don’t even like looking at that thing as it reminds me of the lockout…. especially the term “hockey related revenue.” ugh.) to see what they called them. it didn’t help much. “The Upper and
        Lower Limits of the Team Payroll Range” is the legit name.

        I was thinking it was “salary cap” and “salary floor” though.

      • rayderray - Jun 25, 2014 at 8:04 PM

        Hah! Now I’m HAPPY I reported you!! Kidding…

      • c9castine - Jun 26, 2014 at 2:35 AM

        i was going to laugh with you because i have that type of sense of humour, and then i thought about it.

        salary cap is the thing. it represents the idea of a specific range in which a team is permitted to spend money. ceiling is the top of it, floor the bottom.

        its actually not redundant but doesnt change the fact that these guys seem to spend little thought on if what they are writing is proofread, or for that matter just mere thoughts they are having and making a news blog out of it.

  3. kantnockdahustle89 - Jun 25, 2014 at 1:59 PM

    7 years? No way he plays that long. Really good player when healthy. I guess…why not keep your only pure scoring winger?

    • lordfletcher - Jun 25, 2014 at 2:02 PM

      No way he plays that long?

      I dunno. I would still play a sport near 38 or so when someone is willing to pay me almost $5 million … I don’t care how much I have made in the past or won, I can always buy another villa and Ferrari’s.

      • avscup - Jun 25, 2014 at 4:45 PM

        It’s not always about age. He has a long injury history.

      • lordfletcher - Jun 25, 2014 at 5:58 PM

        I am amazed I didn’t know that….

        -Wild fan, thanks AVSCUP

      • puckoff70 - Jun 26, 2014 at 2:10 AM

        No such thing as an avscup

  4. greatmiamisportsmind - Jun 25, 2014 at 2:00 PM

    With his history that will be about 2 full seasons. Horrible contract

    • puckoff70 - Jun 25, 2014 at 2:06 PM

      Winning cups don’t come cheap but Marian will help LA win a couple more.

    • flyerspsu - Jun 25, 2014 at 3:38 PM

      they settled w/ more yrs in exchange for a good cap hit

  5. nyrnashty - Jun 25, 2014 at 2:00 PM

    Damn, 7 years? I guess if they can get a good 5 and win another cup or so, it’s a great deal. The 5 million cap hit isn’t bad, but I would worry a little due to his injury problems in the past.

    • fpstratton - Jun 25, 2014 at 3:47 PM

      Yeah, I think it’s a great PR move and a so-so hockey move. Gaborik just isn’t very durable. I don’t know if he replicates his 2014 level of goal scoring with the Kings with that kind of production over an entire season.

  6. 19to77 - Jun 25, 2014 at 2:00 PM

    Wooow. Balls-out move by Lombardi to keep the championship team together for as long as possible. I’m sure the idea is to trade a few years in if he stays relatively productive, as that cap hit will look downright appealing for a reasonably solid scorer after a few years of cap rise.

  7. pirovash88 - Jun 25, 2014 at 2:02 PM

    I just hope he can stay healthy through the next couple of Seasons. Seems like all of the pieces are in place for another couple of Cup runs, it’s gonna be an even more exciting time here in LA.

    Not sure how Lombardi didn’t get GM of the year last night, haha.

    • rayderray - Jun 25, 2014 at 2:39 PM

      It’s the equivalent of: Don’t worry if I write rhymes, I write checks!

      Win all the awards ya want, I’ll just be over here drinking from this cup a few more times… Quack Quack MFers. At least that’s how he responds in the world I wanna live in.

  8. scout202sport - Jun 25, 2014 at 2:02 PM

    This is a good deal for both sides. He gave the Kings a discount in exchange for a long term deal. They wanted to keep him, he wanted to stay. The cap hit is minimal and I think both sides realize that he probably won’t be playing for another 7 years anyways. Can’t wait to see the details of this contract! Dean Lombardi proves AGAIN why he is a great GM for the Kings.

    • DED - Jun 25, 2014 at 2:29 PM

      After his high scoring run in the playoffs, it would’ve been too easy for that to go to his head and for him to demand that teams keep paying him $7 million. I’m not saying that he should be making that kind of money anymore given his injury history, but ego has a way of clouding a player’s judgement. So for him to drop his demands to just under $5 million actually shows a bit of humility (as crazy as $5 million/year sounds for “humility”).

      Anyway, the contract is probably two years too long, but the price is reasonable. Because when Gaborik gets into scoring mode he’s one of the most dangerous players on the ice.

      Now compare this with Callahan’s $5.8 million/year deal for 6 years and it looks even more reasonable.

      • scout202sport - Jun 25, 2014 at 2:33 PM

        It’s nice to agree with someone on the se boards every once in awhile and I couldn’t agree with you more. Very well said.

  9. patthehockeyfan - Jun 25, 2014 at 2:04 PM

    Another plus for Lombardi. Seven years is a bit unexpected and a little optimistic; but, one would have to place his/her faith in Lombardi that he knows what he’s doing. He has all along.

    Regarding the 2015 Stanley Cup, do I day write REPEAT?


    • patthehockeyfan - Jun 25, 2014 at 2:04 PM

      Do I *dare

      • hawksin5 - Jun 25, 2014 at 2:14 PM

        not if the hawks can get a 2C.

  10. earpaniac - Jun 25, 2014 at 2:05 PM

    And that’s how they get around the hometown discount I guess.

    • bairdmartin31 - Jun 25, 2014 at 2:06 PM

      A cup will usually soften the financial blow.

  11. scottincm - Jun 25, 2014 at 2:07 PM

    Term will come back to haunt the Kings and that is just fine with me #NHLDucks

    • scout202sport - Jun 25, 2014 at 2:12 PM

      I disagree with you on that one. DL has NEVER put the team in a bad position. In fact, everything he does has made them stronger. When a guy comes in and you get 2 cups in 3 years, DO WHAT HE SAYS.

    • rayderray - Jun 25, 2014 at 2:49 PM

      Not only that, but assuming(don’t kill me for using the A word) the cap continues to rise, and assuming we can get at least 5 good years from him, 5 mil now vs. 5 mil 6 and 7 years from now might not be as bad.

      (Insert your: It’s just money and accompanying eye roll, here)

    • nyking1963 - Jun 25, 2014 at 3:03 PM

      you mean like the silly 8yr $66/$69 mil deals that were given to Perry and Getzlaf?
      Yeah..take your GM and your 2nd round ouster from the playoffs. I’m sure you weren’t jealous watching your rival kick your butt and step over your team’s lifeless corpse on their way to winning another cup!

      • lordfletcher - Jun 25, 2014 at 4:26 PM

        Good to see someone (fan) knows how to win like a champ.

        Stay classy…. I mean its not like you had ANYTHING to do with the Kings winning either cups.

  12. esracerx46 - Jun 25, 2014 at 2:11 PM

    Caught lightning in a bottle. I could see 3-4 years. But 7, yikes. Decent cap hit at least.

    • m1k3g - Jun 25, 2014 at 3:27 PM

      I agree 100%.

  13. sjsharks66 - Jun 25, 2014 at 2:13 PM

    Wow.. Still must be drunk from the night they won. Price is not bad, but the length is insane. I guess if it pays off with another cup within the next 3-4 years then it will be worth it. Right now, it’s a questionable contract.

    • rocoop - Jun 25, 2014 at 6:34 PM

      Yeah…A drunk signing..That’s it…

  14. jake1199 - Jun 25, 2014 at 2:18 PM

    Bad signing for the kings- to long of a contract and not worth the money! At 32 his age is gonna be a factor and guarantee he doesn’t score more than 25 goals next year and beyond!

    • Gigagigagilgamesh - Jun 25, 2014 at 2:30 PM

      LOL Jake… your guarantee doesn’t hold value anywhere..

    • nyking1963 - Jun 25, 2014 at 3:05 PM

      Lombardi knows what he’s doing. He’s built a juggernaut franchise that will continue to compete for the cup for years to come.
      How’s your GM doing?

  15. mshantz22 - Jun 25, 2014 at 2:30 PM

    Should Gaborik stay healthy, this will be a bargain. There are a lot of guys in the NHL making more money that are less productive than Gaborik.

  16. snipedanglecelly13 - Jun 25, 2014 at 2:37 PM

    At under 5 mill id much rather have gaborik than Franzen any day of the week!

  17. phillyphanatic77 - Jun 25, 2014 at 3:05 PM

    The Kings may be in trouble a long way down the line as Gaborik, Richards, and Carter will all still be under contract and way over the hill; probably untradeable. But, for the next 5 years or so, watch out. This is an excellent deal in the short term, risky in the long term. However, when you’re winning Cups you take advantage of that window as long as possible and Dean Lombardi did a great job here.

    Their best hope is that they win atleast another Cup and then have these guys retire before they drag the team down too much.

  18. rsl22 - Jun 25, 2014 at 3:29 PM

    He’s getting a good bit less than Callahan. Who cares about the length, that’s a steal.

  19. aldog83 - Jun 25, 2014 at 3:34 PM

    KOPITAR must be very happy.

    Gaborik by far the best offensive compliment and linemate Kopitar has had in his career.

    Will be fun to watch them together for a full season.

    Hope Gabby can stay healthy.

    Necessary move.

    Look at it this way. IF the Kings struggled to score again next season (after NOT signing Gaborik) Lombardi would be again scrambling at the deadline to make a move again…And we may not be fortunate enough to have a “CARTER” or “GABORIK” available again.

    Also Lombardi likes his draft picks and assets.

    By signing Gaborik he give up NO picks and NO prospects.

    Good Move.

    Just hope the cap keeps going up in years to come.

    Kings will need it.

    next year….Toffoli, Pearson, Muzzin, Clifford, and Jones are all RESTRICTED FA.

    UNRESTRICTED next year……Williams, Stoll, Reghyr and Martinez.



  20. dutchman1350 - Jun 25, 2014 at 3:52 PM

    Goodbye Mike Richards? Not much cap space and some young RFAs to pay the next year and then Kopitar.

    • phillyphanatic77 - Jun 25, 2014 at 5:43 PM

      I think, like a lot of teams, they’re hoping the cap goes up a good amount over the next few seasons.

  21. bbk1000 - Jun 25, 2014 at 3:54 PM

    Without him the Kings weren’t winning the cup, so perhaps it’s worth it…

    As a Rangers fan his ability to score in the playoffs was news to me……

    • rocoop - Jun 25, 2014 at 6:31 PM

      Maybe better team around him in LA..You think??

      • fpstratton - Jun 25, 2014 at 10:21 PM

        That may be true, but just from my personal observations, he just didn’t play as well for the Rangers. He had some good people around him in New York, too.

  22. hockeyflow33 - Jun 25, 2014 at 5:52 PM

    What a great signing for both the player and the team.

  23. hardkor07mn - Jun 25, 2014 at 6:42 PM

    Are they NUTS? With his track record he should be able to play until he’s 50 considering he only played half the schedule his first 10 years in the league.

  24. channelguy - Jun 25, 2014 at 7:11 PM

    Theres no hometown discount here and its not reasonable to compare this contract to Callahan.

    The contract pays out BELOW MARKET VALUE over the whole term of the contract, but it is heavily front loaded. No one really thinks that this injury probe player will be playing at the end of his contract. The LONG TERM scares some people, who think the Kings made a bad deal. The LOW AVERAGE VALUE per year makes some people think the GM is a genius. In reality, what the two sides did is lower the cap value of the deal, which IS good for LA, while paying it out beyond when Gaborik will be effective. So its a creative, smart deal for everyone. And because the contract doesn’t pay him into his 40s like Luongos, it’s not a poison pill. It will hurt the Kings a little near the end of the deal, but not a lot.

    If Gaborik was 25, not 32, when he signed this deal, THEN you could say the GM got a great deal. But his age made the sub-5 million cap hit possible.

    • puckoff70 - Jun 26, 2014 at 2:17 AM

      At 25 he was getting paid 3.5 mill per season more, this is a great deal.

  25. nicofthenorthstar - Jun 25, 2014 at 7:41 PM

    7 years?!
    Love it. As much as I enjoyed seeing Gabby have so much success this post-season, I enjoy seeing LA handicap themselves into the future with a contract like this. Gaborik’s injury history speaks for itself.
    7 years!

  26. phtjoey - Jun 25, 2014 at 7:42 PM

    At 32 years of age we can assert that he won’t be around for 7 years. Kings should get good production from him during the course of the next 3 or 4 years ($23.3 mil). Then he becomes bait for a trade, or a potential buyout.

  27. macdega - Jun 25, 2014 at 8:21 PM

    Let’s all gang up on the Stanley Cup winners and try to find a fault anywhere. Oh, I know, let’s nitpick one of the Kings’ contracts.

    • puckoff70 - Jun 26, 2014 at 2:19 AM

      Its all the irrelevant chicago fans have.

  28. adamal17 - Jun 25, 2014 at 8:53 PM

    The ONLY downside I could (possibly) see with this is the last two years. Even IF that happens the cap hit won’t be that bad if the Kings decide to buy him out or something along those lines if he does degress in those years. And by then the cap ceiling will be in the high 80’s or 90 million range. I’m glad the Wings are in the East now with how well the Kings and Hawks are improving every year.

  29. ronniethec - Jun 25, 2014 at 9:40 PM

    Does Lombardi know what he is doing? He has built a great young team through the draft and smart trading. The kings are the only team in the league that does not have a player with a no trade contract. I think he knows what he is doing with gabby.

  30. ronniethec - Jun 25, 2014 at 10:28 PM

    I could not care less how Gabby played for the Rangers. He fits like a glove with Kopitar and scored 14 goals is the playoffs, many being very timely, as Ranger Duck Hawk and Shark fans surely remember.

  31. blomfeld - Jun 25, 2014 at 10:52 PM


    Well in this case, at least for seven years eh ? The bottom line is that with the sole exception of comrade PHT Joey and perhaps some other assorted Kings fans, all of the commentary here above equates to pure ‘jibberish’ and nothing more ! I mean seriously, what do you people ‘really’ know about Gaborik and his potential in going forward ? And how many of you people were here last September predicting another ‘glorious’ Kings SC championship like I was ? Of course the answer to both questions is ‘zero’ which in turn is why your opinions on this matter are completely irrelevant. Unlike say a Luongo, who goes and signs a 12 year deal and then quits after less than two years in, we Kings are a ‘band of brothers’ driven by conviction, zeal and providence. And when we Kings say we’re going to do something, we actually ‘do’ it, while letting positively ‘nothing’ stand in our way in the process ! This signing is probably the ‘best’ signing of papers since Appomattox in 1865 !

    executive summary: signing Gaborik for another ’70 years’ would still be a bargain !!!

    GO KINGS GO !!! … TODAY, TOMORROW AND FOREVER !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  32. officialgame - Jun 26, 2014 at 7:27 AM

    I will never understand these long term deals we see today in all sports. I rather give a guy three years at more money then be able to get out from under If I so choose. Unless your a 25 year old Sid Crosby it makes no sense.

    • nebbah306 - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:05 AM

      Its the result of a salary cap. Gaborik’s annual cap hit is only $4.875 million a year. That is FANTASTIC in the first 3-4 years, and while it may well haunt them in the future, if the cap rises as predicted, it won’t be such a big hit.

      Personally, i wouldnt sign Gabby to a 7 year deal at age 32, but I see where it makes sense financially. Dont wanna give him a $30 mill 4 year deal and have him eat up $7.5mill of cap space.

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