LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Kings announced that they have agreed to terms on a two-year contract with former Charlotte goaltender Jason LaBarbera, who was an unrestricted free agent.
In 2004-05 with Hartford of the American Hockey League, LaBarbera was 31-16-2 with six shutouts and ranked second in the league with a goals-against average of 1.84 and ranked third with a save percentage of .934. He shared the Harry “Hap” Holmes Memorial Award with teammate Steve Valiquette, who played in the ECHL with Dayton (1996-97), Hampton Roads (1998-99) and Trenton (1999-2000), and was selected to the AHL All-Star Game.
In his first professional season in 2000-01 with Charlotte, LaBarbera was 18-10-7 with a goals against average of 3.20 and a save percentage of .910 in 35 regular season games and 1-1 with a goals against average of 2.09 and a save percentage of .945 in two Kelly Cup Playoff games. In 2001-02 with Charlotte, LaBarbera was 9-3-1 with a goals against average of 2.34 and a save percentage of .924 in 13 regular season games and 2-2 with a goals against average of 3.39 and a save percentage of .910 in four Kelly Cup Playoff games.
In 2003-04 with Hartford, LaBarbera was 32-9-9 and set an AHL record with 13 shutouts while his goals against average of 1.60 was second in league history and his save percentage of .936 was the third best in AHL history. He was named as the Most Valuable Player of the American Hockey League while also being selected as the AHL Goaltender of the Year and voted First Team AHL All-Star.
LaBarbera became the fourth ECHL player to be named AHL MVP, joining Eric Boguniecki in 2001-02, Martin Brochu in 1999-2000, and Brad Smyth in 1995-96, and he is the sixth ECHL goaltender to be named AHL Goaltender of the Year, joining Marc Lamothe in 2002-03, Martin Brochu in 1999-2000, Martin Biron in 1998-99, Manny Legace in 1995-96, and Frederic Chabot in 1993-94.