Signed to a four-year contract extension, LA Kings winger Alex Iafallo is ready to see the team grow into a contender.
Another trade deadline. Another key member of previous Stanley Cup runs sent packing. Jeff Carter‘s departure from the LA Kings on Sunday came as a bit of a surprise. The 36-year-old wasn’t having the best season, although he scored his eighth goal of the season in Saturday’s 4-2 win over the Sharks.
“It’s a bittersweet day,” Todd McLellan noted following the Kings morning skate on Monday.
Just minutes before LA Kings practice concluded, news broke that the organization was signing left-winger Alex Iafallo to a four-year contract extension. The 27-year-old was linked to multiple trade rumors leading up to Monday’s 3 pm ET trade deadline.
Given his age and proven production over the last four seasons, Iafallo would have been a nice addition to a contending team’s group of forwards. Instead, he’ll remain in Los Angeles for the next four seasons at a $4M AAV cap hit.
The undrafted free agent out of Minnesota-Duluth signed with the organization in April 2017. He’s primarily played alongside Anze Kopitar on the Kings’ top line during his time in Los Angeles, turning into one of the roster’s most productive players.
“He had some ups and downs first couple years, but he’s been very steady,” Kopitar said of Iafallo. “Obviously, his production has been going up. And Todd [McLellan] shows a lot of trust in him, putting him up on the powerplay and PK, and he plays in every single situation. So he’s a big part of this team.”
Following McLellan and Kopitar, here’s what Iafallo said to the media
On hearing what Kopitar said about him and what’s next
I look up to him [Kopitar] and appreciate hearing those words from him. And I want to be part of something special and going forward here. That’s why I want to stay and, you know, I’m looking forward to that and being a big part of some special.
On Jeff Carter’s departure
I got to know him right off the hop when I first got here. When I was young, and, you know, being an older guy, he always stepped in and told me what I needed to work on or small things like that. And he was always a calming presence.
On his four-year contract extension
I’m pretty excited. [I’m] very excited to be here. You know, I’ve loved it since I got here. And, you know, [it’s] just a great organization and great players along the way. And what we got now, we can do some special. I’m excited to be a part of the next four years, to be honest.
On how stressful the contract negotiations were
It’s always in the back of my mind. Obviously, [we’re] looking to make playoffs. I always put that first and wanted to win games and stuff. So, you know, coming down to the deadline, obviously, it was stressful. But you know, I’m glad it got done. And I’m very glad to be here. Very excited.
On if he’s had a chance to reflect how far he’s come, from undrafted free agent to four-year extension
I knew that from the start. And, you know, I put my heart and soul into things, and that’s what I want to do here. And that’s why I want to stay. I want to do everything that I can to help this team and provide as much leadership and everything that I can do on the ice and off the ice to this team. [I’m] so glad to be a part of it, and I can’t wait to keep moving forward here.