Kings sign Marian Gaborik to seven-year contract

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After he played a key role in them winning the Stanley Cup, the Los Angeles Kings didn’t want to let Marian Gaborik slip through their fingers as an unrestricted free agent. They managed to avoid that fate by signing him to a seven-year contract.

He will earn a little more than $34 million and come with a cap hit just below $5 million annually, according to Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos

When Gaborik joined the Kings, their ability to find the back of the net was a serious and ongoing concern, but he fit in almost instantly. He scored 14 goals and 22 points in 26 playoff games and provided the Kings with the flexibility to split up Anze Kopitar and Jeff Carter, giving the team a two strong scoring lines. Los Angeles ended up averaging 3.38 goals per game in the playoffs compared to 2.42 in the regular season.

Gaborik’s offensive abilities were hardly a revelation as he has reached or surpassed the 30-goal mark seven times, but the 32-year-old also has a lengthy injury history. For that reason, signing him through his late 30s is a considerable risk for the Kings.

That being said, he’s accepting a significantly smaller average salary than he’s enjoyed in the past, which is critical as Los Angeles attempts to keep its championship roster intact without reaching the cap ceiling.

Update: His exact average annual salary will be $4.875 million, per ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun