Originally posted on Fox Sports West  |  Last updated 5/30/13
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (AP) -- Defenseman Robyn Regehr agreed to a two-year, 6 million contract extension with the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday, passing up a chance at free agency this summer. The defending Stanley Cup champions announced the deal while the team traveled to Chicago for the start of the Western Conference finals on Saturday. Regehr has appeared in just 12 regular-season games and 13 playoff contests with the Kings, who acquired him from the Buffalo Sabres on April 1 in a trade for two second-round draft picks. The 13-year NHL veteran has splendidly filled the physical void left by injured Kings defensemen Willie Mitchell and Matt Greene with relentless, hard-hitting defense and penalty-killing proficiency. He also has three assists while partnering with high-scoring defenseman Drew Doughty. "We needed that defensive presence and that physical guy," Doughty said of Regehr on Wednesday. "For the most part, our D corps wasn't the most physical. We were more good passers. We didn't have that physical presence. In bringing him in, he's helped out a lot. He's been a great guy to have. We all love him, and he's a big part of where we are right now." The 33-year-old Regehr would have been an unrestricted free agent this summer, but general manager Dean Lombardi previously said he would aggressively attempt to re-sign Regehr before free agency. Regehr has said he's grateful to be with a championship contender after missing the playoffs in his four previous seasons in Calgary and Buffalo. Regehr's return solidifies the Kings' blue line during a potentially busy summer. Veteran defenseman Rob Scuderi is an unrestricted free agent, while defensemen Slava Voynov, Jake Muzzin, Alec Martinez and Keaton Ellerby are restricted free agents. Greene has returned to the Kings' lineup after a back injury kept him out for almost the entire regular season, while Mitchell won't play at all this season after two knee surgeries. Lombardi has said he doesn't know whether the 36-year-old Mitchell, who will make 3.5 million next season, will be healthy for training camp in the fall. Regehr is in the final days of a five-year, 20 million contract signed when he was with the Calgary Flames, his team for his first 11 NHL seasons. Regehr and current Kings coach Darryl Sutter reached Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals with Calgary in 2004, but lost to Tampa Bay. Regehr hadn't made it past the first round of the postseason again until this spring with the Kings.
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