The Los Angeles Kings returned almost every man from the 2012 Stanley Cup roster for this shortened NHL season. Tuesday General Manager Dean Lombardi and Assistant GM Ron Hextall moved closer to brining back the core of that Cup team again for 2013-14. The Kings signed young Russian defenseman Slava Voynov to a new 6-Year contract.
A source told ESPN’s Pierre Lebrun that the deal is worth $25 million. The Kings website did not expand on the details of the deal, but LA Kings Insider Jon Rosen also reported it was worth $25 million.
Consistency every night was one of the features of the Kings Stanley Cup team. Every night they had the same defensive pairings, and Voynov was a young, pleasant surprise playing alongside veteran Willie Mitchell. Voynov was not just consistent, but was one of the best blue-liners in the league. Locking the 23 year old Voynov down was necessary after the Kings changes on defense due to injuries and free agent acquisitions.
Voynov was also heavily pursued by his hometown Russian side Traktor Chelyabinsk as well. Voynov’s agent told the LA Kings insider he was leaning towards LA, but going home can be a very attractive offer.
Voynov lead the Kings in plus/minus during the playoffs, and was tied for the team lead in goals with 6 and points with 13. He was leading the Stanley Cup playoffs in game winning goals. When the Kings offense sputtered, Voynov’s involvement was crucial to the Kings advancing through the first two rounds, and making the playoffs as the 6th seed.