Here’s something we know for sure: Anze Kopitar is on fire right now.
After a solid-but-unspectacular start to his contract year, the Los Angeles Kings star has 19 points in his past 15 games. That included a recent four-point performance against the Detroit Red Wings.
So, he’s playing some fantastic hockey. Again, that’s certain.
Things get a little confusing when you try to gauge how close he is to a contract extension with the Kings, and honestly, it’s been that way for a while now.
On one side, in the latest edition of Insider Trading, TSN’s Darren Dreger wonders if there’s “an impasse.”
On the other, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman thinks they might be close. Maybe?
Friedman calls it what is is in his always-interesting “30 Thoughts” column: a bewildering situation.
16. Weird Stuff I: Anze Kopitar looked brilliant with a four-point night against the Red Wings, but we still don’t have a signed contract. We all think it’s coming.
It sure seemed like he thought it was coming when the Kings came through Toronto in December. It’s one of the stranger negotiations I’ve covered, because everything points to it happening but we’re not there. Now, the conspiracy theories are coming. “Is there a problem we’re not aware of?” “Are they at an impasse?”
Teams are having their scouting meetings now, and one exec asked if he should actually plan for the possibility Kopitar hits the market.
So … let’s just shrug our shoulders at this one, perhaps.
Kings thought it was too close not to get done … two months ago
He wanted to get something done before the season started
They “weren’t even in the same ballpark” back in September