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After Kopitar, Lucic may be next

Power Forward Los Ageles Kings Milan Lucic Harry How , Getty Images via Vancouer Sun

The Los Angeles Kings are near to have a deal in place with star forward Anze Kopitar and his latest numbers are just adding to his bargaining leverage with Kings general manager Dean Lombardi. Several sources are revealing that the Kings and the Kopitar’s clan could have a deal done in a couple weeks. Kopitar has been hot lately after a slow start to the season. He has 6 points in his last two games and recorded 4 assists in last night’s game against the Vancouver Canucks.

Lombardi’s next priority

Power Forward Los Ageles Kings Milan Lucic

Is Lucic heading towards UFA

For Dean Lombardi, resigning Kopitar was his priority no.1 coming into this season. Lombardi, intended on securing Anze Kopitar for the rest of his career in a Kings uniform. He is part of the puzzle for the Kings to win a third Stanley Cup. When he resigns Kopitar to what could be the most lucrative contract in the Los Angeles Kings history, Lombardi will need to focus on solidifying his team n other fonts. It is believed, his next priority will be power forward Milan Lucic.

Lucic was acquired last summer by the Kings in exchange for the 13th overall pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, goaltender Martin Jones and defenceman Colin Miller. He will be an unrestricted free agent on he 1st July. His current salary is at 6M and so is his AAV. Since playing in Los Angeles, Lucic has been happy with his new team. His statistics with the Kings are average with 22 points in 35 games played. He has cored only ten goals this season. Lombardi likes what Lucic brings to the game and resigning him will be a priority if the Kings are t make a run deep into the playoffs.

It is hard to say, whether Lucic will want to stay in Los Angeles long term. The Canucks would love to pry him out of Los Angeles as a free agent next summer and Lucic has ever rejected he idea of one day playing for his home team. For Lucic, it will be whether Los Angeles can be back in the Stanley Cup Finals while for Lombardi it will be locking him up before the season’s end.

During the morning skate before the Vancouver Canucks game yesterday, Lucic declared this to the journalist asking him bout his new team.

“You would love for it to start off with a bang but there is that adjustment period,” Lucic said, who recorded 44 points last season with the Bruins. “Obviously at the start you have to do what you can to fit in and adjust as quick as you can.

“It definitely took a little more time (for me) but it’s feeling more natural now.”

For Lucic who enjoyed Christmas in California this year compared to the cold and stormy weather of Boston, it was a nice change. It may actually be a change that Lucic will truly enjoy especially if a Stanley Cup is part of it.

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