LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Kings have agreed to terms on a three-year contract with unrestricted free agent center Pavol Demitra, Kings Senior Vice President/General Manager Dave Taylor announced today. Per club policy, terms of the agreement were not announced.
Demitra, 30, has been with the St. Louis Blues the past eight seasons and has led them in scoring in four of the last six campaigns. Ranked fifth on the Blues' all-time scoring list with 493 points (204-289=493), the three-time NHL All-Star from Slovakia has also scored at least 35 goals on three different occasions.
"Pavol Demitra is an established premier forward in the National Hockey League," said Taylor. "He is an elite skilled player who competes on a consistent basis. His vast experience should be a real benefit to the younger players in our lineup."
Said Kings Head Coach Andy Murray: "We as a coaching staff are very familiar with Pavol, having coached against him for many years both here in the NHL and in international competition, where he is very accomplished. He will be a great addition to our offense and on our power play in particular."
Having played with St. Louis since the 1996-97 season, Demitra began his NHL career with the Ottawa Senators in 1993-94 season. The 11-year NHL veteran has amassed 519 points, 216 goals (216-303=519) and 170 penalty minutes over his 553 regular season games played with the Blues and Senators. In 66 career post-season games, all with the Blues, Demitra has 43 points (18-25=43) and 26 penalty minutes.
In addition to his three 35-plus goal seasons (1998-99, 2001-02 and 2002-03), Demitra has eclipsed the 50-assist mark twice, registering 52 helpers in 1998-99 and a career-high 57 in 2002-03 en route to a personal-best 93 points as he finished sixth in overall NHL scoring. In 2001-02, he was tied for seventh in overall NHL scoring with 78 points, and during his last season with the Blues, the 2003-04 campaign, he was third in overall team scoring and second in goals, amassing 58 points (23-35=58) and 18 penalty minutes in 68 contests. He also that season finished second on the team with eight power-play goals and tied for second with five game-winning goals.
During the 2004-05 season, Demitra -- who in 1999-00 was awarded the prestigious Lady Byng Trophy for sportsmanship -- played in his native Slovakia and recorded 82 points (28-54=82) and 39 penalty minutes in 54 regular season games with Dukla Trencin (where he began his pro career in 1992-93).
Originally selected by Ottawa in the ninth-round (227th overall) of the 1993 NHL Entry Draft, the 6-0, 206-pound Demitra is a native of Dubnica, Slovakia. He was traded to the Blues by Ottawa on November 27, 1996, in exchange for Christer Olsson.