Anze Kopitar signs seven-year extension with Los Angeles

The Los Angeles Kings have come to terms with their franchise player, Anze Kopitar, on a seven-year, $47.6 million 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,” GM Dean Lombardi said in a release.  “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 has one year remaining on his current deal, so the new contract will come into effect next season.

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“This is really exciting and a little overwhelming to be honest,” Kopitar said. “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.”

The deal given to the native of Slovenia is the second longest in club history, next to Wayne Gretzky’s eight-year pact signed in 1988.

Kopitar, originally selected 11th overall in 2005 by the Kings, registered 77 points in 82 games last season to lead the team.