Kings sign Kopitar to seven-year extension Staff

10/11/2008 6:18:11 PM

The Los Angeles Kings have signed centre Anze Kopitar to a seven-year, $47.6 million extension which will keep him in a Kings' uniform until the 2015-2016 season. Kopitar had one year left on his current deal.

''Anze is a special player, but he has also shown a strong work ethic and the type character we believe is necessary to help shape the core of our team,'' said Kings general manager Dean Lombardi. ''Along with some of our other young core players, the commitment Kopitar has shown at a young age should continue to improve and elevate his teammates and the franchise.

''This agreement is another critical step forward in our building process, and it also demonstrates to our fans our organization's commitment to building the right way.  However, we are not done.  There is still more work to do, on and off the ice.''   

Kopitar was drafted 11th overall by the Kings in the 2005 Entry Draft. Last season, the native of Slovenia scored 32 goals and added 45 assists for 77 points in 82 games.

The seven-year contract is the second longest in club history. Wayne Gretzky signed an eight-year contract in 1988.

"This is really exciting and a little overwhelming to be honest," Kopitar said in San Jose, where the Kings are set to face the Sharks Saturday night. "I am happy to be a part of this organization for the next eight years. I can focus now on hockey-only and on doing what I want to do, which is to bring the Stanley Cup to L.A. I am also excited to remain with a great group of players who have gotten the same commitment from our organization. We are looking forward to growing together and to building something special here."

Last year, winger Dustin Brown signed a six-year contract and centre Jarret Stoll signed on for four years. Earlier this month, centre Patrick O'Sullivan inked for three years and defenceman Drew Doughty signed an entry-level deal. With Kopitar on board, the future looks bright in Los Angeles.