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LA Kings, Anze Kopitar Contract Talks Stalled Due to Sagging Loonie

It appears as if the Los Angeles Kings and Anze Kopitar will not reach an agreement on a new contract anytime soon. But don’t go blaming Kopitar or GM Dean Lombardi. If anyone — or anything — should be viewed as the culprit to such inactivity, it is the declining Canadian dollar.

According to Ken Campbell of The Hockey News, the current state of the Canadian economy is what’s keeping the Kings from re-signing Kopitar — and even the Tampa Bay Lightning from inking Steven Stamkos to an extension.

For those wondering how Chicago Blackhawks‘ GM Stan Bowman was able to re-sign both Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane to lucrative extensions, it’s simple. Chicago’s two star forwards were inked on July 9, 2014, when the Canadian dollar was strong. Since then, it has declined quite drastically, falling 18 cents in value.

“When Bowman signed Toews and Kane to their contract extensions last July 9, the Canadian dollar was trading at 94 cents compared to the U.S. dollar and there was no reason to believe things would change drastically,” Campbell wrote. “But the Canadian dollar has lost a mind-blowing 20 percent of its value since then, trading at 76 cents today.”

To read Ken Campbell’s complete article, published on Monday, click here.

As for the situation with Anze Kopitar’s potential contract extension, Kings’ GM Dean Lombardi and the Kings’ star, according to Jon Rosen of LA Kings Insider, are “not even in the ballpark” when it comes to agreeing to a new deal.

While this is certainly disappointing, fans can at least take solace in the fact that the two sides have 10 months to work out a new deal before the Slovenian officially tests the free agent waters. Fans can also take some comfort knowing that the current situation should not be reflected on Dean Lombardi or Anze Kopitar. This is not — at least for the time being — a matter of ego, greed or hardheadedness from either side. The economical situation, like it or not, is a precarious one and few, if any, can predict what shape it will be in next week, next month or next summer.

Kopitar is entering the final year of his seven-year, $47.6 million deal and will be looking for a big raise — justifiably so.

Not only has he led the Kings in scoring for the past eight seasons, but the 28-year-old Slovenian was integral in both of the Los Angeles’s Stanley Cup victories since 2012. A franchise player, Kopitar has only strengthened his status in recent years, turning himself into one of the best defensive forwards in the game today, not to mention possessing exceptional leadership skills which attributes to him donning the ‘A’ for the silver-and-black.

As of now, Kings fans must learn to enjoy what they have right now, but it will be difficult knowing what is on the horizon. After all, fans had to start the 2014-15 season with the same attitude regarding Justin Williams. Of course, while he was just as integral to Los Angeles’s championship wins, few players, if any, are more synonymous with the modern-day Los Angeles Kings than Anze Kopitar is.

When he suffered a broken ankle late in the 2010-11 season, Anze Kopitar left the Kings, in spite of the plethora of talent on board, a team of doubt. The Kings bowed out to the rival San Jose Sharks in the opening round of the playoffs, never appearing to recover from the loss of their star forward. The situation may not be altogether similar next summer but no fan of the silver-and-black can bear the thought of their team without Anze Kopitar gracing their roster.

As of now, with the ice put in STAPLES Center and the rookies preparing for camp, fans are much too excited for the fast-approaching start to the season than to let the Kopitar contract talks (or lack thereof) dampen their spirits. Hopefully soon, we’ll be singing a happier tune in regards to Kopitar’s (potential) new contract.

Here’s to the Canadian dollar gaining some much-needed resurgence.

About Ryan Cowley

Ryan Cowley has been writing about the Los Angeles Kings since 2009, beginning as the head writer and editor of Make Way for the Kings since its inception. Until the summer of 2015, Make Way was run by the FanvsFan Network (www.makewayforthekings.com) but has since become independent at its new address: www.makewayforthekings.net Ryan is an NHL-accredited writer who has covered such events as the Stanley Cup Final and Stadium Series. He is also a graduate of Comedy Writing & Performance from Humber College in Toronto, Ontario.

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