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Kings sign captain Anze Kopitar to a 2-year extension worth $14 million

LOS ANGELES (AP) — One of the last remaining links to the Kings’ Stanley Cup championship teams and one of the best players in franchise history is extending his stay in Los Angeles.

Captain Anze Kopitar signed a two-year extension worth $14 million with L.A. on Thursday. He’s now under contract through the 2025-26 NHL season at an annual salary cap hit of $7 million.

“We’re pleased to have reached an agreement that will keep Anze in Los Angeles as our group takes the next step in competing for a Stanley Cup,” general manager Rob Blake said in a statement. “He is the heart and soul of this team as our captain, and he will continue to play a major role on our club.”

The center from Slovenia was nearly a point-a-game player and the Kings’ leading scorer this past year at age 35 with 28 goals and 46 assists. His eight-year, $80 million contract is up after next season.

Kopitar is one of two players remaining from 2012 and 2014 when the Kings won the Cup for the first and second times, along with defenseman Drew Doughty.

“Los Angeles has become home for me and my family, and I’m excited to extend my career here,” Kopitar said. “I’ve been with this organization through it all, and I know our group is close to achieving something special. I look forward to helping us reach that next level and achieving the ultimate goal of winning the Stanley Cup again.”

Kopitar has played all 17 of his NHL seasons with L.A. He has twice won the Selke Trophy as the league’s top defensive forward and recently won his second Lady Byng for gentlemanly conduct.

In 1,384 regular-season and playoff games, he has 1,218 points. He ranks second in Kings history in games, assists and winning goals, third in points and fourth in goals.

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AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/nhl and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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