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 Fantasy Impact of Kopitarís Contract Extension Allow Anonymous Users Reply to This Topic...
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Posted - 01/15/2016 :  11:22:53  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
With a new eight-year, $80 million contract, Kopitar becomes one of the highest paid NHL players.

After months of negotiating and speculation, it has been reported that Anze Kopitar is in the final stages of signing yesterday a deal for eight years for $80 million ($10 million per year), making him the third highest paid player in the league. With a new contract, how does this affect the league, the Kings, and most importantly, your fantasy team?

Obviously Kopitarís contract isnít cheap but thereís no argument that he hasnít deserved it. Last year Kopitar had a subpar season with only 64 points but this year, heís back on track to hit 70 points. Before last year, Kopitar went five straight seasons with 70 or more points. However, mere numbers canít nearly depict all of Kopitarís value to the Kings and what else he brings to the ice. Kopitar is widely considered to be the second best center in the Western Conference, right behind Jonathan Toews, and has been an essential part in the Kings roster that has won two Stanley Cups. In the two playoff runs where the Kings won the Stanley Cup, Kopitar scored a combined 36 points in 36 games. Heís also considered one of, if not the best, defensive forwards in the game today. Kopitar is truly a franchise player and the Kings will be able to keep him on the roster for a long time. However, the Kings will be put in an even tighter cap position and it will be almost impossible for them to resign pending UFA Milan Lucic. Lucic only counts $3.25 million against the salary cap this year and heíll be looking for a big raise this offseason.

With Kopitarís contract almost finalized, you can bet that Steven Stamkos will get a similar deal. Stamkos has seen almost the same scenario unfold this season as Kopitar. Both superstars headed into the year with only one year remaining on their contract but Stamkosís situation has seemed to be a little cloudier. While there was almost no question that Los Angeles would resign Kopitar, itís unknown whether Tampa is willing to pay Stamkos in the double digits. Kopitarís contract sets the standard for Stamkosís contract and it remains to be seen whether or not Tampa Bay will be willing to fork over that kind of money. Whether or not itís with Tampa though, expect Stamkos to receive a very similar deal.

Now, what happens to Kopitarís fantasy value? In fantasy leagues that have a salary cap, Kopitarís vaue takes a huge hit. This year Kopitarís contract only holds a cap hit of $6.8 million but now it will increase by over $3 million dollars. Kopitar will still be a lock for 65-70 points every year but heíll have the third highest cap hit in the league. Thatís great for Kopitar but not great for fantasy owners since this year heís only tied for 27th in the league in total points. For comparison sakes, Max Pacioretty and Mark Stone only trail Kopitar by two points but make only $4.5 million and $3.5 million respectively. With such a big contract, fantasy owners can find much better value in other players, especially if theyíre tight against the cap.

Written by Scott Maran of

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