The Los Angeles Kings can’t offer Marian Gaborik a huge contract, but the high-scoring winger may be willing to re-sign with the team anyways. Gaborik’s agent, Ron Salcer, says his client enjoyed playing with the club and hopes to stick around if possible, per the Los Angeles Times.
“I think Marian enjoyed, not just the time here, but everything about the experience,” said his agent Ron Salcer on Sunday. “I think to continue that is something he would like and the team would like. So I would hope we could come to a meeting of the minds and get that done.”
Gaborik, 32, was one of the Kings’ best players during their Stanley Cup-winning run this year. After being traded to Los Angeles from Columbus during a disappointing regular season, Gaborik found his groove in the playoffs and went off for a team-leading 14 goals and 22 points in 26 games, giving the Kings some much-needed firepower.
That performance understandably has the Kings wanting Gaborik back next season, but with limited cap space, the team could only offer him a three-year, $15 million. That’s not a terrible offer, certainly, but given Gaborik’s strong postseason performance, he could likely command more on the open market.
The real question, then, is whether Gaborik is willing to take a pay cut in order to stay with the franchise. If he’s willing to accept something around $5 million annually, Los Angeles should be able to fit him in, even if it means losing some less important players like Willie Mitchell to free agency.
Gaborik’s last contract, a five-year pact signed with the New York Rangers in 2009, paid him an average of $7.5 million annually. If he’s expecting a similar salary going forward, the Kings likely won’t be an option, so we’ll see just how much Gaborik really enjoyed his time in L.A. when he announces his next move.