Report: Kings Re-sign Gaborik to Seven-Year Contract.

ESPN.com’s Pierre LeBrun reports the LA Kings have re-signed winger Marian Gaborik to a seven-year deal possibly worth around $5 million annually.

Marian Gaborik nets seven-year deal with the LA Kings.

Marian Gaborik nets seven-year deal with the LA Kings.

 SPECTOR’S NOTE: All I can say is “Holy Overpayment, Batman!”. Not that there’s anything wrong with the annual salary, as getting him for $4.9 million is a good deal, but seven years? For a 32-year-old winger with a lengthy injury history? Over the long run, they’re going to regret that deal. It’ll take up too much cap space after he’s well past his prime.  

Hey, I get why they wanted to re-sign him. When healthy he’s a proven scorer, and was clutch for the Kings in this year’s playoffs. He’s also got great chemistry with Anze Kopitar. He provided their offense with a much-needed boost.

A three-or four-year deal at $5.5 million per would’ve made sense. I can even see going to five years. But seven is just too long for Gaborik. If he were 27 or 28, this deal would’ve made sense. Not now. They’d best hope Gaborik can stay reasonably healthy and productive over the next four years to make it reasonably worthwhile.  

Perhaps the Kings aren’t expecting Gaborik to play out this contract. He’s 32, meaning if forced to retire before the contract expires it won’t count against the Kings cap. If so, this could become the latest example of cap circumvention, using the salary variance to work out a long-term cap-friendly deal for a player they know won’t finish his contract. 

 

13 Comments

  1. WOW – got a feeling that within a year or two their will be a lot of second thoughts.
    Well she looked pretty last night at the bar at 2am

  2. i like the dollars but not the term. at least the kings will get some cap relief when he’s put on the IR for several months a year for the next 7 seasons.

    interesting about the possible cap circumvention. i don’t know enough about all the little inner workings of the cba but that certainly seems like something lombardi was angling for.

  3. If Gaborik can score 20-30 goals per year and be healthy for the playoffs, 4.9 isn’t bad at all. Worst case is he starts to suck around the 5th year and he retires.

  4. I have a feeling this is a new angle of cap circumvention the CBA doesn’t address. My bet is Lombardi fully knows that Gaborik won’t finish the contract, but with his injury history it won’t be due to him retiring early, it will be due to finishing his career in LTIR which gives them cap relief.

    • if that is the case, and I agree with you, thats pretty shrewd gm’ing on his part

  5. I agree with everyone. Seven years is way too much for Gaborik

  6. Not sure are right on this one spector… the way the cap is rising how long until 5million is the average NHL salary?

    If Gaborik gets another bad injury his salary will not count against the cap… they are only out the cash.

    If he is even as productive as the average NHLer in the last few years which isnt a stretch… this is a steal of a deal.

    The chance of a few bad years on this contract is far outweighed by Gabo’s tremendous chemistry with Kopitar and the window with which LA has to keep competing for Stanley Cups

  7. I don’t think there’s a problem with the length at all. I think the length brought the cap hit down, and it was probably also paying Gaborik back to taking the haircut up front. If the Kings buy him out after say 4 years, then the final 3 years become a sort of retirement payment.

    There are really only four possible scenarios for how things will play out:

    1. He plays out his contract.
    2. He retires before the contract expires.
    3. He spends significant time on LTIR (see Chris Pronger)
    4. He is bought out.

    If you look at guys like St. Louis and Selanne, players can be very productive in the late 30s. And the assumption seems to be that he will be injured. But if he stays reasonably healthy for the entire 7 year contract, would he still be considered overpaid?

    Doing some quick math in my head, if the Kings bought him out after four years, the cap hit would be half of the $11M remaining for six years or about $900k a year. That’s a small price to pay for being a serious contender for the next four years. In addition, we don’t know where the cap ceiling will be in four years. If it’s north of $85 million, that $900k will be even less of a concern.

    And by a show of hands, how many of you would like to have your team win the cup in June and have a full roster under contract before the NHL draft with $5M in cap space to spare?

  8. well if it was front loaded, if he retired after, the la kings would get hit with cap recapture penalty. Same sorta deal that would happen to the canucks and to a lesser extent, the panthers. That cap recapture penalty can be deadly. If luongo retires 1 or 2 years later, then his cap recapture hit to the canucks would be like 8 million for the last 2 years. If the contract is back loaded, that would make no sense and there would be no benefit because he would be retiring early and that would just hurt the kings by inflating his cap hit for the years he played.

  9. nm i forgot that caprecapture doesnt apply with deals signed after the new cba

  10. I don’t think its a huge stretch at 7 years. I can guarantee that LA likely wanted something in the 4-5 year range, but to get a deal done for a player you want sometimes to have to compromise. Knowing this the Kings loaded more value into the front of the contract just in case. If 4.9 is the average per year and you agree with that number term does not matter so much. I would take the signing and have a good shot at the cup in next three years and if you win another who cares if he’s got a few extra years left where he is less effective.

  11. Please don’t use the word circumvention, we’re not the NJ Devils

  12. Its not a over payment Spector! It might look like it, but it’s not. He’s getting 6 mil the 1st three years of the deal which any team would pay him if they needed him.. Then it drops down to around 3 mil the last two years and if he’s still playing around that time he’s most likely still putting the puck in the net… I also might add on the open market Gaborik would of received more money. So it’s a great signing for LA if he stays healthy. It also shows other players in the league that LA is very loyal to its players and they would like to play in LA if they had a chance