Kings, Jack Johnson near long-term extension
"We’re close, it’s fair to say," assistant general manager Ron Hextall said Saturday before the Kings faced the Columbus Blue Jackets at Staples Center.
The extension was first reported by ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun during Hockey Night in Canada’s telecast.
Johnson's deal is for seven years with an average salary-cap hit of $4.36 million a season. He would make $3.5 million the first three years and $5 million in each of the final four.
Johnson, who will be 24 next week, has four goals, 28 points and a -3 defensive rating this season. He was a member of the silver medal-winning U.S. Olympic hockey team at the Vancouver Games and seemed to gain confidence from his performance there, though he still has some issues defensively.
Johnson is earning $1.425 million this season and was eligible to become a restricted free agent on July 1.
Unlike most players, Johnson won’t have to pay an agent’s fee for negotiating the deal: he represented himself.
Photo: Kings defenseman Jack Johnson battles Blue Jackets winger Patric Hornqvist for the puck in the first period Thursday night at Staples Center. Credit: Chris Carlson / Associated Press