The Los Angeles Kings would prefer that Marian Gaborik remain in Southern California and help the team defend its Stanley Cup championship, but he could make more money as an unrestricted free agent this summer.
With that said, Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun reported Saturday that Kings general manager Dean Lombardi has extended an offer to Gaborik in hopes that he will stay.
“Los Angeles wants to keep leading playoff goal scorer Marian Gaborik — they’ve offered three years and $15 million, which would require a hometown discount of sorts,” Simmons writes. “To keep Gaborik and (Mike) Richards, it means sacrificing a veteran free agent defenceman like Willie Mitchell or Matt Greene.”
TSN’s Darren Dreger reported Monday that Greene and the Kings were “finishing up” a four-year contract, which could result in Mitchell hitting the free-agent market when it opens July 1.
Gaborik was a fantastic fit in Los Angeles after the team acquired him from the Columbus Blue Jackets at the trade deadline. The 32-year-old tallied 16 points in 19 regular-season games for the Kings, then led the playoffs with 14 goals during the team’s run to a Stanley Cup title.
Gaborik’s value will never be higher, and taking the reported offer from the Kings would be a $2.5 million per season pay decrease. It’s hard to put a price on team chemistry and winning, though, so it wouldn’t be shocking if Gaborik takes less money to remain with Los Angeles. He has earned over $65 million in his career, per CapGeek.