Kings’ Kopitar says he will consider retirement at end of contract

NHL insider Elliotte Friedman joins Jeff Marek to discuss the next steps for the L.A. Kings, and what GM Rob Blake's future might look like, after yet another really early playoff exit, within this window with so much talent.

Anze Kopitar is not ready to put an exact expiration date on his NHL career, but he can see himself hanging up the skates in the next couple of years.

During the Los Angeles Kings‘ exit interviews on Friday, the 36-year-old veteran suggested he could consider retiring at the end of his upcoming two-year contract.

“Haven’t thought about it that far along but, yeah, 39 (years old), I think it’ll be a pretty good age to maybe think about the end,” said Kopitar.

A two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Kings, Kopitar signed a two-year, $14 million contract extension last summer that runs through the 2025-26 season.

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The Kings were knocked out of the Stanley Cup Playoffs on Wednesday, falling to the Edmonton Oilers in Game 5 of their first-round series. The team has qualified for the playoffs in the last three consecutive seasons but has been eliminated each time by the Oilers. They have not won a single series since their Cup win in 2014.

Clearly some changes need to be made ahead of next season. However, when it comes to the idea of a retool, Kopitar suggests that’s not something he would be interested in going through.

“I don’t think I have time for retooling now,” the captain told reporters. “Like I said, it’s another two years, so if we go into a full rebuild, it’s not something that I want. And I think there are some pieces that are absolutely very useful here, and we’ve got to build on that.”

Kopitar, who has spent his entire 18-season NHL career with Los Angeles, has 1,211 points (419 goals and 792 assists) over 1,373 games.

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