Kings, Kopitar ‘not even in the ballpark’ on contract talks

Anze Kopitar. (Kevork Djansezian/AP)

The Los Angeles Kings and Anze Kopitar have yet to find common ground on a contract extension.

In fact, they’re not even close.

According to LA Kings Insider, Kings general manager Dean Lombardi says the two sides are “not even in the ballpark” when it comes to inking a new deal.

The 28-year-old has one year left on his seven-year, $47.6 million deal with the Kings, and will become an unrestricted free agent next July if things aren’t locked up before then.

One possible reason for the delay — and this could apply to Steven Stamkos’ contract talks with the Tampa Bay Lightning, too — cited by The Hockey News‘ Ken Campbell points the finger at the Canadian economy and the declining value of the Loonie.

“When Bowman signed Toews and Kane to their contract extensions last July 9, the Canadian dollar was trading at 94 cents compared to the U.S. dollar and there was no reason to believe things would change drastically,” writes Campbell. “But the Canadian dollar has lost a mind-blowing 20 percent of its value since then, trading at 76 cents today.

Would Bowman have signed those deals with Kane and Toews if he had owned the crystal ball that almost every economist on either side of the border did not have at the time? We’ll never know, but we do now know that it will be much, much more difficult to fit those two deals under the salary cap if the Canadian economy continues its decline.”

Kopitar, a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Kings and the team’s leading scorer for the past eight seasons, has registered 218 goals and 610 points in 683 career NHL regular season games since being drafted by the Kings in the first round (11th overall) in 2005.

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