Tag:Anze Kopitar
Posted on: October 25, 2011 10:44 pm
Edited on: October 25, 2011 11:53 pm

Video: Patrick Kane's spin-o-rama pass

By: Adam Gretz

We thought Anze Kopitar's saucer pass to Simon Gagne from last week was going to be one of the best assists we see all season. And when all is said and done, it probably still will be. But he picked up some competition on Tuesday night when Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane managed to pull off this incredible spin-o-rama blind pass to set up his teammate, Marian Hossa, midway through the second period of Chicago's 3-2 shootout win over the Anaheim Ducks.

Outstanding. Kane would add another assist later in the game on a Patrick Sharp goal, but it wasn't anywhere near as beautiful as the one above, and also score the game-winning goal in the shootout.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.

Posted on: October 19, 2011 11:26 am
Edited on: October 19, 2011 11:44 am

Video: Kopitar-to-Gagne assist of the season?

By Brian Stubits

How often do you hear about a Goal of the Year candidate? There seems to be one every week. The most recent was Tuesday night's four-on-one goal by Dallas Stars young gun Jamie Benn.

But how about some love for the guys doing the dishing? Aren't we always expounding on the virtues of selflessness in sports? After all, it's not like being the best individual in a game gets you any kind of honor or anything. Wait a second ...

Well we're going to break that trend up right now. Won't stand for this injustice any longer. (At this point, you can probably see right through me and assume I just have a good assist video.)

Now, for your viewing pleasure, here is an early favorite for the Assist of the Season where Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar decided to go deep over the defenders' heads to Simon Gagne. Thankfully after a saucer pass like that, Gagne made it all worthwhile by finishing it off. It's just another pass without the goal.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: September 29, 2011 11:19 pm
Edited on: September 29, 2011 11:51 pm

Kings, Doughty reach verbal agreement


By: Adam Gretz

The Drew Doughty holdout is finally over.

The Los Angeles Kings announced on Thursday night that the team and their young standout defenseman have reached a verbal agreement on a new multi-year contract extension. According to TSN's Bob McKenzie it's an eight-year deal worth $7 million per season.

It was reported earlier this month that Doughty had a deal on the table that would have paid him $6.8 million per season, matching the average annual salary that his teammate, Anze Kopitar, currently makes. It also would have made him one of the highest paid defensemen in the NHL.

Helene Elliot of the Los Angeles Times Tweeted on Thursday evening just before the announcement that the Kings increased the money in their offer, and obviously they did, pushing him up to the $7 million level.

The $7 million cap hit puts him in the top-20 among all NHL players and third among defensemen, trailing only Nashville's Shea Weber and Florida's Brian Campbell.

Doughty, who turns 22 in December, was the Kings first-round pick (third overall) in the 2008 draft and has already played three seasons in the NHL, recording 33 goals and 93 assists in 239 games. He was a finalist for the Norris Trophy in 2009-10, finishing third behind Chicago's Duncan Keith and Washington's Mike Green.

His offensive numbers dropped last season going from 59 points in '09-10 to just 40 points (11 goals and 29 assists) in 2010-11 while appearing in 76 games.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.

Posted on: September 13, 2011 11:40 pm
Edited on: September 13, 2011 11:59 pm

Report: Hunter gets tryout with Kings


By: Adam Gretz

After the New York Islanders traded him to the New Jersey Devils this summer in exchange for Brian Rolston, a move that had very different salary cap intentions for the two teams, Trent Hunter had his contract bought out, making him a free agent. As of Tuesday evening the veteran forward will reportedly be a part of his third organization in the past three months, agreeing to a tryout contract with the Los Angeles Kings according to Katie Strang of ESPN New York and Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register.

Injuries have really limited Hunter in recent years, appearing in just 133 of a possible 246 games, scoring 26 goals over that stretch. For his career he's scored 99 goals, all of which have come with the Islanders after he was acquired by the team back in May of 2000 from the Anaheim Ducks for a draft pick.

The July trade that sent Hunter to the Devils helped the Islanders reach the salary cap floor due to Rolston's sizable contract, while the deal, and eventual buyout of Hunter, helped New Jersey save a few million in cap space under the cap ceiling.

If Hunter earns a spot in training camp he'll likely be a bottom-six winger/penalty killer, as the the Kings top lines would seem to be set with players like Mike Richards, Anze Kopitar, Dustin Brown, Justin Williams, Simon Gagne and Dustin Penner. Earlier in the offseason the Kings added some depth to their bottom lines when they signed Ethan Moreau to a one-year deal.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.

Posted on: September 8, 2011 6:55 pm
Edited on: September 8, 2011 7:04 pm

More on Drew Doughty and the Kings

Doughty1By: Adam Gretz

There are still a small number of restricted free agents yet to sign a new deal with their respective clubs, and perhaps none are bigger than Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty. Training camp is just around the corner, and with each passing day it's looking more and more likely that the young standout may not be signed on time, a situation that was discussed back in early August.

Earlier on Thursday Helene Elliot of the Los Angeles Times tweeted that Kings general manager Dean Lombardi and Doughty's agent, Don Meehan, have agreed that they won't publicly comment on the negotiations (with no deal appearing imminent), while it's also expected that the 21-year-old defenseman will not attend the team's hockey fanfest this upcoming weekend.

That news was eventually followed by Sportsnet's Nick Kypreos asking where the Kings go now that Doughty has reportedly turned down multiple offers, including a potential nine-year, $61.2 million contract.

Assuming that offer was on the table, it would have matched Anze Kopitar for the largest average annual salary ($6.8 million) on the team. It also would have put him in the top-20 among all NHL salary cap hits, and fourth among defensemen for the 2010-11 season, trailing only Nashville's Shea Weber, Florida's Brian Campbell and Boston's Zdeno Chara

Doughty, who turns 22 in December, is coming off a season that saw him score 11 goals and 29 assists in 76 games, a decent drop from the previous season when he recorded 59 points from the blue line.

When you're talking about a contract, especially with a player as young as Doughty, you're not just paying for what the player has done (and when you're looking at a player like Doughty you're dealing with a player that's already a bright young star in the NHL) but also what the player will do in the future. There's projection involved, and for as good as Doughty already is, he's likely to get better for at least a couple of more years.

Is that worth making him one of the five-highest paid defensemen in the NHL at this point?

The Kings were willing to go to nearly $7 million on a contract for Kopitar after three seasons (the same point in his career that Doughty is) when Kopitar probably wasn't held in as high a regard among other forwards across the league as Doughty currently is among other defensemen. So it shouldn't seem that outrageous that numbers like this are being kicked around.

In the end, I still think something that falls somewhere between the cap hit Keith Yandle received earlier this summer, and the $7 million mark that has been topped by a small handful of defensemen is a more than fair average annual salary for what Doughty has already accomplished, and what he should accomplish in the near future.

There is still time to work something out and get Doughty signed before any of training camp (or worse, actual regular season games) is missed, but it does appeare to be running out.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.

Posted on: March 28, 2011 10:11 pm
Edited on: March 28, 2011 10:12 pm

Kings' Anze Kopitar to have ankle surgery

Los Angeles Kings forward Azne Kopitar will reportedly undergo surgery to repair torn ligaments caused by a high ankle sprain suffered Saturday against the Colorado Avalanche

Coach Terry Murray initially told reporters that Kopitar had a broken ankle that would keep the Kings’ top scorer out six weeks. (Here’s a look at the play where Kopitar was injured.) The diagnois apparently changed after an MRI Monday revealed more damage that will keep Kopitar off the ice until the middle of the summer, according Rich Hammond of lakingsinsider.com

Surgery is scheduled for Wednesday. 

"It's just going to be a good test for this young hockey club,” Murray told the website. "We'll be better when we come through it. There's no question about it. Guys are going to be in a higher situation, more important situation, and they'll grow immensely through this opportunity."

The Kings are already without Justin Williams, who could miss the rest of the season after he separated his shoulder a week ago. That leaves the Kings minus their two top scorers heading into the stretch run.  

-- A.J. Perez
Photo: Associated Press
Posted on: March 26, 2011 5:56 pm
Edited on: March 26, 2011 8:21 pm

Kings' Anze Kopitar breaks ankle in win

The Los Angeles Kings are now without their two top scorers for several weeks.

Center Anze Kopitar broke his ankle during the Kings' 4-1 victory over the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday. Kopitar got his skate caught on the ice as he battled along the boards with Avs defenseman Ryan O'Byrne. (A replay of the injury is below.)  As he lost his balance, Kopitar's lower leg twisted awkwardly and he was unable to get up on his own. 

King coach Terry Murray told reporters that Kopitar would be out at least six weeks. 

"He's our best player. We’ve got to find a way either way," Kings captain Dustin Brown told Helene Elliott of the Los Angeles Times. "Injuries happen during the year. You don’t want to have your best player go down, but if that’s the case, we’ve got to shoulder the responsibility collectively and find a way because no other team is going to feel sorry for us.

"It’s an opportunity for someone else to step up. It’s going to be tough to match Kopi’s play both defensively and offensively, and we’ve got to find a way. The staple of our game is defense, and he’s a big part of that when he’s on the ice. Ultimately it’s a five-man, six-man game for us."

Kopitar was assisted off the ice and went straight to the dressing room after the injury. He's scheduled to undergo an MRI on Monday. He shares the team lead in goals with Brown (25) and leads in assists (48).

Justin Williams, second on the team in scoring, separated his shoulder in a game against the Calgary Flames on Sunday, an injury that could mean the end of his season

-- A.J. Perez

Photo: Getty Images
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com