LA Kings sign playoff hero Marian Gaborik to 7-year deal

June 25, 2014

The Los Angeles Kings' management has produced two Stanley Cup Champion squads in the last three years and apparently is intent on keeping the franchise's unprecedented string of success going and retaining its core group of players, as the team today signed pending unrestricted free agent Marian Gaborik to a new seven-year deal.

The Kings first acquired Gaborik in a March 5 trade with Columbus in exchange for forward Matt Frattin, a second round draft selection in the 2014 or 2015 NHL Draft (at Anaheim’s option), and a third round draft selection in the 2014 NHL Draft. The deal proved vital to LA's championship run, as Gaborik repeatedly delivered in the playoffs.

Gaborik tallied a league-leading 14 goals during the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs for the Kings, just one shy of the Kings single playoff year franchise record set in 1993 by Wayne Gretzky.

Additionally, the 32-year-old native of Trencin, Slovakia, ranked fourth in Stanley Cup Playoffs scoring (22 points), tied for second in Stanley Cup Playoffs power-play goals (3), and tied for third in Stanley Cup Playoffs power-play points (8), while appearing in all 26 Kings postseason games.

The 2014 Stanley Cup championship was the first career championship for Gaborik, who rebounded from an injury plagued regular season with a postseason full of clutch performances.

According to Elias Sports Bureau, Gaborik joins Claude Lemieux (Colorado, 1996-97) as the only players in NHL history to score more goals in the playoffs than the regular season (minimum 10 regular season goals).  Gaborik had just 11 goals in 41 regular season games.

Gaborik collected three goals and five points in the Kings seven-game First Round series win over San Jose, and he led all players with six goals and 10 points in the Kings seven-game Second Round series victory vs. Anaheim.  In that series, he scored both the tying and winning goals in Game 1, becoming the first player in Stanley Cup Playoffs history to post the tying goal in the final 10 seconds of regulation and then the winning goal in overtime of that same contest.

Gaborik added another three goals and four points in the Kings seven-game series win over Chicago in the Western Conference Finals, and his goal late in the third period of Game 7 forced overtime.

And just like he did in the Western Conference Finals, Gaborik twice scored game-tying third period goals vs. the New York Rangers – in Game 2 and in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final – with both goals leading to overtime victories for the Kings.

Gaborik was an NHL All-Star in 2012, 2008, and 2003 (named All-Star MVP in 2012) and he was named an NHL Second Team All-Star at the conclusion of the 2011-12 season.  He has scored at least 40 NHL goals on three occasions and he has scored at least 30 NHL goals four other times.

By Staff of and news services

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