An update on Anze Kopitar, plus the latest on the Blackhawks, Flames, Stars and Seattle’s bid for an NHL franchise.
LA KINGS INSIDER: Jon Rosen reports contracts talks between Kings management and Anze Kopitar are expected to increase over the next month. Kopitar, 27, is entering the final season of his seven-year, $47.6 million contract. He’s eligible for unrestricted free agency next July. In his career with the Kings, Kopitar has tallied “218 goals and 610 points in 683 career games in addition to two Stanley Cups, three All-Star Game selections, two Selke Trophy nominations and a Lady Byng Memorial Trophy nomination.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It could cost around $9 million annually on a seven- or eight-year deal to re-sign Kopitar, who’s led the Kings in scoring in all but his rookie season. He’s one of their most important core players, but keeping him in the fold will be expensive.
CALGARY HERALD: The Flames yesterday formally introduced defenseman Dougie Hamilton and winger Michael Frolik to the Calgary media. Hamilton was acquired in a trade from the Boston Bruins prior to the 2015 NHL draft, while Frolik was signed via free agency. Their additions have added to the feeling of expectation among Flames fans for next season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hamilton provides another measure of talented depth to an already solid Flames defense corps, while Frolik bolsters their scoring punch on right wing. Both could also become replacements for Mark Giordano and Jiri Hudler if the Flames are unable to re-sign that duo before their UFA eligibility next summer.
NHL.COM: Dallas Stars GM Jim Nill is optimistic over his young blueline’s chances for improvement next season, even suggesting promising John Klingberg could be as good as Ottawa Senators’ two-time Norris Trophy winner Erik Karlsson.
CHICAGO TRIBUNE’s Chris Kuc reports Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman said his club had $750K in bonus overages, which will be deducted from their cap space for 2015-16.
KING5.COM: Businessman Victor Coleman, who was reportedly keen to bring an NHL francise to Seattle, won’t be filing an expansion bid with the league by the July 20 deadline. The Coleman group apparently wants to finalize its arena site before submitting a bid, which they hope to fast track. However, this could provide an opportunity for a group in Tukwila to submit a bid.