Before tonight's game against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Staples Center, reports were swirling that the Los Angeles Kings are on the verge of signing defenseman Jack Johnson to a long-term contract extension. It's not a bad birthday present for Johnson, who turns 24 years old next Thursday. Helene Elliott of the Los Angeles Times reported the contract details:
- 2011-12: $3.5 million
- 2012-13: $3.5 million
- 2013-14: $3.5 million
- 2014-15: $5 million
- 2015-16: $5 million
- 2016-17: $5 million
- 2017-18: $5 million
The average annual value of the contract, and subsequent salary cap figure, is $4.36 million. Johnson, who was acquired from Carolina before the 2006-2007 season, would have been a restricted free agent this summer. Johnson has four goals this season, and his 24 assists are tied for 10th among NHL defensemen. He is fourth in the NHL with 16 assists on the power play this season, and tied for second with 19 points on with a man advantage.
Johnson had nine points in his previous nine games, entering tonight, and has two assists through two periods tonight against Columbus. The Kings lead 4-1 after two periods. The contract will reportedly be finalized in the next day or two.
For more Kings news and analysis, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Jewels From The Crown.