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.
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.