Kings' Anze Kopitar still working out details on his contract extension

Kings' Anze Kopitar still working out details on his contract extension
Los Angeles Kings'Anze Kopitar reacts to his goal to take a 1-0 lead over the St. Louis Blues during the second period at Staples Center on Jan. 9. (Harry How / Getty Images)

The TV crew was there for the big moment, poised for major breaking Slovenian news out of El Segundo on Friday afternoon.

Their native son spoke to them for a few minutes. Earlier Kings Coach Darryl Sutter took his turn and finished by giving the group his highest form of praise about the player, calling him "a good boy."


But, at the end of the day, there was nothing official to announce regarding a contract extension for Anze Kopitar as the Kings center headed toward the door, cell phone pressed against his ear.

Negotiations for the expected eight-year deal worth about $80 million remain in the final stages and Kopitar's agent, Pat Brisson, said via email that there were "details to work on."

In the meantime, the Kings — having lost just once in regulation in their last nine games — are facing an important weekend on the ice, not just at the negotiating table. They play host to Ottawa on Saturday afternoon and face their Southern California rivals, the Ducks, for the first time this season Sunday at Anaheim.

The Senators' game gives them the opportunity to face defenseman Erik Karlsson, who is Drew Doughty's leading competition for the Norris Trophy, given to the league's top defenseman. The Kings' Doughty and Karlsson, who has 45 points in 44 games, always invite comparison because they are so accomplished.

"I don't think you can compare two players equally," Karlsson said after Senators practice Friday. "I think everybody, in a way, is a bit different and plays a bit different. People try and people want to compare and have something to match up against.

"At the same time, I don't think we're similar players. I don't think we're the same player. As you said, we're both good players. He's a great defenseman, been one for a long time. He's doing things I don't do. And I do things he doesn't."

Said Doughty: "He's an unbelievable player. What he's doing — the amount of points he's putting up — I don't know how he does it. It's pretty phenomenal. I've learned a lot from watching him play."

Doughty also expressed some sympathy for Kopitar, knowing how contact talks can linger. It was more difficult for Doughty, who missed almost all of training camp leading into the 2011-12 season because of his contract impasse.

"When I was doing mine, it was coming down to camp time and obviously I was starting to panic a little bit," Doughty said. "All the guys were here and I was still back home. It definitely sucks thinking about the contract."

Faceoff help

Sutter mentioned how he liked what newly acquired center Vinny Lecavalier was bringing in his three games since being acquired from Philadelphia.

"Clearly, the fit is good for us," Sutter said. "It doesn't matter if he's the third center or the fourth center…. I think he can really help our hockey club."

Especially in terms of winning faceoffs.

"It's a part of our game that's really dropped off this year," Sutter said. "If you look at the numbers and to remain a top possession team with our faceoff percentage being as low as it is … is almost remarkable."




When: Saturday, 1 p.m.

On the air: TV: Fox Sports West; Radio: 790.

Update: Ottawa Coach Dave Cameron said that goalie Craig Anderson will get the start against the Kings. Anderson has won once in his last five starts.

Twitter: @reallisa