Anze Kopitar said he is confident he will re-sign with the Los Angeles Kings even though negotiations are slow.
"We're maybe not as close as we wanted to be at this point, but I'm also not worried," Kopitar told USA Today this week. "I've said it all along: If it happens before the actual season starts, it would be really nice. But if it doesn't, no alarms will go off. There's still plenty of time."
Kopitar is entering the final year of his contract and could become an unrestricted free agent after this season.
He has won the Stanley Cup twice since being selected by the Kings with the 11th pick of the 2005 NHL Draft.
"It's a place I've enjoyed very much and have had quite a bit of success there, and for sure I'd like to stay," Kopitar said.
Kopitar, who turned 28 on Aug. 24, will make $7.7 million this season (a $6.8 million NHL salary-cap charge), according to war-on-ice.com. He signed a seven-year, $47.6 million contract prior to the 2009-10 season.
General manager Dean Lombardi earlier told LA Kings Insider the sides were not close in their discussions.
Kopitar had 16 goals and 48 assists (64 points) last season and has 218 goals and 392 assists (610 points) in 683 NHL games. He has 18 goals and 42 assists (60 points) in 70 Stanley Cup Playoff games.