Hockey players are paid based on performance and ability to win. The LA Kings have three players who are vital to the future success of the team this season, and that is the reason why they have the top three expensive contracts on the team heading into the 2022-23 season.
These three will play a critical part in where this team goes and how much success they have in the playoffs.
One is a legend in King’s history, one is returning from injury and is the heart and soul of the team, and one is a new player who has the chance to make a significant impact.
Drew Doughty, $11M
Defenseman Drew Doughty is the highest-paid player on the Kings heading into training camp, earning $11 million annually. Doughty, 32, has a no-movement clause in his deal, and his contract takes up 13.3% of the team’s total cap.
The former Norris Trophy winner has been criticized for not matching the contract amount. Still, he had worked to be a better defenseman and was on pace for solid numbers before two separate injuries derailed his season.
Drafted by the Kings with the second overall pick of the 2008 NHL Draft, Doughty is coming back from an injury that made him miss the final month of the 2021-22 season and all seven postseason games.
He only played 39 games but scored seven goals and added 24 assists for 31 points and 30 penalty minutes. As a top-tier defenseman Doughty is worth the money he is paid and does everything he can to earn that money when he is on the ice.
Anze Kopitar, $10M
Center, and captain, Anze Kopitar is second on the team, earning $10 million per year. Kopitar has a no-trade clause in his deal, with two years remaining, and is responsible for 12.1% of the team’s salary cap.
The Slovenian captain has been as a consistent year in and year out as one can be. Fans know what to expect from Kopitar. Leadership and work ethic are two words to describe him, and he has been that way since the Kings drafted him 11th overall in the 2005 NHL Draft.
Last season, Kopitar played in 81 games, scoring 19 goals and adding 48 assists for 67 points.
Kevin Fiala, $7.875M
Winger, and newcomer, Kevin Fiala is third on the Kings in contracts thanks to his newly signed deal with an AAV of $7.875 million per year. The 26-year-old came to the Kings in a trade with the Minnesota Wild for defensive prospect Brock Faber.
His contract is worth 9.5% of the team’s salary cap, and he will look to prove his worth this upcoming season, his first in Los Angeles. A high-energy, offensively gifted forward fits right into the Kings’ lineup, bringing speed, grit, and offense to a lineup that could use more scoring.
Like Kopitar, Fiala was drafted 11th overall but in the 2014 NHL Draft by the Nashville Predators. Last season for the Wild, Fiala had a breakout season, scoring 33 goals and adding 52 assists for 85 points in 82 games.
He was also a +23 and spent 52 minutes in the box, proving he has a complete game that should be beneficial in the Kings’ run to another Stanley Cup.
- Philip Danault: $5.5M AAV
- Adrian Kempe: $5.5M AAV
- Viktor Arvidsson: $4.25M AAV
- Alex Iafallo: $4M AAV