As a result of their disappointing finish to the 2016-17 NHL season, the Los Angeles Kings sought changes by removing Rob Lombardi as general manager and Darryl Sutter as head coach. Their replacements, Rob Blake and John Stevens stressed the importance for the team to improve their scoring.
Although the team missed the playoffs for the second time in three years, the season was not an entire waste as the growth of 24-year old Tanner Pearson was a bright point for the Kings. Pearson’s contract ended with the season’s conclusion, but the left winger had no intention of leaving Los Angeles, according to Jon Rosen of LA Kings Insider:
Obviously the main goal was to stay here in L.A. I wanted to stay here for a long term if we were able to come to a deal that was good for everyone, and I’m happy to be here.
The Kings quickly moved to keep their young forward and re-signed Pearson to a four-year extension. The new deal prevented Pearson from becoming a restricted free agent and marks the second extension the Kings and Pearson have agreed upon.
As part of ‘That 70’s Line’ alongside Jeff Carter and Tyler Toffoli, Pearson is coming off his best year as a professional after posting career highs with 24 goals and 44 points. The 24 goals were second best on the team while his 44 points tied for the third-highest total.
Pearson will earn $15 million over the next four years and figures to play an integral part of the team’s revamped offense. Stevens plans to have the Kings aggressively looking for scoring chances and attacking from the center of the ice.