LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Kings – the 2014 Stanley Cup Champions – have signed pending unrestricted free agent Marian Gaborik to a new seven-year deal, Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi announced today.
Gaborik tallied a league-leading 14 goals during the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs for the Kings, who captured their second Stanley Cup championship in three seasons. Gaborik’s 14 goals were one shy of the Kings single playoff year franchise record set in 1993 by Wayne Gretzky. Additionally, the 32-year-old native of Trencin, Slovakia, ranked fourth in Stanley Cup Playoffs scoring (22 points), tied for second in Stanley Cup Playoffs power-play goals (3), and tied for third in Stanley Cup Playoffs power-play points (8) while appearing in all 26 Kings postseason games.
The 2014 Stanley Cup championship was the first career championship for Gaborik, who rebounded from an injury plagued regular season with a postseason full of clutch performances.
According to Elias Sports Bureau, Gaborik joins Claude Lemieux (Colorado, 1996-97) as the only players in NHL history to score more goals in the playoffs than the regular season (minimum 10 regular season goals). Gaborik had 11 goals in 41 regular season games – including five goals in 19 regular season games with the Kings – after he was acquired by the Kings from the Columbus Blue Jackets on March 5 (trade details below).
Gaborik collected three goals and five points in the Kings seven-game First Round series win over San Jose, and he led all players with six goals and 10 points in the Kings seven-game Second Round series victory vs. Anaheim. In that series, he scored both the tying and winning goals in Game 1, becoming the first player in Stanley Cup Playoffs history to post the tying goal in the final 10 seconds of regulation and then the winning goal in overtime of that same contest.
Gaborik added another three goals and four points in the Kings seven-game series win over Chicago in the Western Conference Finals, and his goal late in the third period of Game 7 forced overtime. Teammate Alec Martinez scored the series-clinching goal in overtime, allowing Gaborik and the Kings to advance to the Stanley Cup Final.
And just like he did in the Western Conference Finals, Gaborik twice scored game-tying third period goals vs. the New York Rangers – in Game 2 and in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final – with both goals leading to overtime victories for the Kings. Gaborik finished his first-ever Stanley Cup Final with two goals and three points.
In addition to his time with the Kings, the 6-1, 204-pound Gaborik has also played for the Blue Jackets, Rangers and Minnesota Wild during his 14-year NHL career. In 810 career regular season games he has collected 347 goals (ranks 13th among active players), 704 points (347-357=704), 414 penalty minutes and a plus-minus rating of plus-96. In 80 career NHL playoff games he has 57 points including 32 goals.
Gaborik was an NHL All-Star in 2012, 2008 and 2003 (named All-Star MVP in 2012) and he was named an NHL Second Team All-Star at the conclusion of the 2011-12 season. He has scored at least 40 NHL goals on three occasions and he has scored at least 30 NHL goals four other times.
On the International stage, Gaborik has skated for his native Slovakia in both the 2010 Winter Olympics (finished fourth) and the 2006 Winter Olympics (finished fifth) totaling 12 points (7-5=12) in 13 career games.
The Kings first acquired Gaborik in exchange for forward Matt Frattin, a second round draft selection in the 2014 or 2015 NHL Draft (at Anaheim’s option) and a third round draft selection in the 2014 NHL Draft on March 5. The second-round pick in 2014 or 2015 going to Columbus was previously acquired by the Kings in the Jonathan Bernier deal with Toronto (June 23, 2013).