The Los Angeles Kings locked up one of their prized youngsters on Thursday, agreeing to terms with rookie forward Tanner Pearson on a two-year deal.
Per Sportsnet, the contract is worth $2.8 million for an average annual cap hit of $1.4M, which is nearly double what Pearson made on his entry-level deal.
All told, it’s a pretty good arrangement for both the club and player. Pearson, 22, was L.A.’s first-round pick at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft and rose to prominence during last year’s Cup run on “That 70s Line” with Jeff Carter and fellow youngster Tyler Toffoli.
This year, Pearson got off to a great start — he was October’s rookie of the month — and racked up 12 goals in 42 games before suffering a broken ankle in early January. (He’s currently out of the lineup and isn’t expected back until the playoffs… if the Kings make it.)
With Pearson now signed, Kings GM Dean Lombardi will turn his attention to Toffoli and the club’s other pending RFAs: Nick Shore, Andy Andreoff and goalie Martin Jones.
PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
So much for Boston Bruins defenseman Dougie Hamilton’s injury being undisclosed. CSNNE.com notes that his apparent Boston Celtics buddy Kelly Olynyk (pictured) blurted out Hamilton’s injury while discussing his own black eye (also pictured). (CSNNE.com)
Aside: while the resemblance isn’t Tim Lincecum-spooky, does Olynyk remind anyone else a bit of the kid from “Dazed and Confused”? No, OK moving on …
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Is Andrew Hammond for real or just a flash in the pan? (The Hockey News)
Apparently the Tampa Bay Lightning are trying to restrict playoff ticket sales to Florida residents. (Sportsnet)
Suspended Los Angeles Kings defenseman Slava Voynov apparently went under the knife while his career’s in limbo. (NHL.com)
A scathing take on Dustin Byfuglien’s cross-check. (The Toronto Star)
There’s been another postponement in the Slava Voynov domestic assault case.
Per the L.A. Times, the trial date has been pushed back from Apr. 21 to July 6, marking the third such an instance has occurred; the Kings defenseman was originally supposed to go to trial on Mar. 2, then Mar. 9.
As for the key takeaways from today’s session…
— The next hearing will be on May. 4, per the OC Register. That’s when when Judge Eric Taylor will apparently rule on whether Marta Varlamova, Voynov’s wife and alleged victim, must answer questions from prosecutors.
— Varlamova was on-hand in court for the first time. There were lengthy discussions about Varlamova not wanting to testify; Varlamova’s attorney, Michael Walsh, said “she does not wish to explain or justify the reasons” for not testifying, while Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney Frank Dunnick argued she had “no right” to refuse, adding there was no spousal privilege at play.
— Voynov suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon, which will keep him from playing hockey for up to six months. Per LA Kings Insider, Voynov suffered the injury “recreationally” and had surgery last week to repair it. Voynov appeared in court today on crutches and in a cast.
— No word on what the injury could potentially have on L.A.’s cap situation, or if Voynov could be transitioned to LTIR at some point down the road.
— Voynov’s legal team now includes Blair Berk, who has previously represented celebrities like Mel Gibson and Bruce Jenner.