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Latest on Doughty contract situation

Posted on: August 5, 2011 8:22 pm
Edited on: August 5, 2011 9:06 pm
 
Doughty

By: Adam Gretz

The Los Angeles Kings and their young standout defenseman, Drew Doughty, have yet to reach an agreement on a new contract. Doughty, 21, is currently a restricted free agent, and because NHL teams are seemingly terrified of restricted free agents, there's almost no danger of him entertaining an offer sheet from another club. So it's not a matter of if the two sides come to an agreement, but simply a matter of when.

We're already into August, and with no new contract on the horizon it has to be getting at least a little frustrating for Kings fans to see their young franchise player remain unsigned. Especially now that there's some minor -- very minor -- rumblings of a possible holdout.

Deep in a profile about Jack Ferreira, the Kings special assistant to to the general manager, that appears in the Press-Enterprise is a quote from the long-time executive that brings up his previous experiences with Paul Kariya during his holdout with the Anaheim Ducks back in 1997, and how it relates to the current stalemate between the Kings and Dougty.

From Jim Alexander of the P-E:
And this is part of what veteran hockey men bring to the table: There is little that can happen that they haven't already seen. Today's Kings are still at a negotiating stalemate with defenseman Drew Doughty , a restricted free agent. That situation got no easier Wednesday when an arbitrator awarded Nashville's Shea Weber, a more experienced defenseman, $7.5 million for one year. "This year we were up in Toronto for the scouting combine and Dean had some meetings with Newport Sports (Doughty's agents)," Ferreira said. "He came back and they were discussing what went on, and I just looked at him and said, 'Dean, they don't want to make a deal. They're not ready to make a deal.' "That's gonna be a tough one. I would not be surprised if he was a holdout. I went through it with Paul Kariya, and Dean's been through it."
At this point we're still a long way from a holdout, as training camps are still over a month away, and the start of the regular season is still a month after that. No matter how far apart the gap may be right now, it can only take one phone call to change that and get the two sides on the path toward a deal. It's also worth pointing out that story -- Ferreira suggesting a holdout -- occurred during the NHL scouting combine -- which was over two months ago -- so it's also possible that something has changed since then.

Still, it's an intriguing quote and floats a possibility that hadn't really been discussed all that much. And it is more likely to happen than another team stepping up and throwing a huge offer sheet on the table, so it's probably the only way Doughty doesn't open the season in the starting lineup for the Kings, and even then it's a stretch.

Naturally, this week's arbitration ruling for Nashville's Shea Weber -- $7.5 million -- has sparked discussion as to what it means for Doughty and the Kings, and frankly, it shouldn't mean all that much. Weber is a better player and has been in the league for six years, compared to Doughty who is coming off just his third NHL season (and a season that saw his offensive numbers, which tend to be a big deal for a puck-moving defenseman, decrease from the previous year).

Earlier this summer Phoenix's Keith Yandle, who just completed his fourth full season in the NHL, signed a five-year deal worth over $5 million per season. Prior to last season Rangers defenseman Marc Staal signed a five-year deal coming off of his entry level contract that pays him $3.97 million per season.

It stands to reason that Doughty's inevitable contract will fall somewhere between the annual cap hit for Yandle and the one-year award that Weber received in arbitration. In other words: somewhere in the $6 million neighborhood seems fair. It's going to get done, it's just a matter of when.

H/T Surly & Scribe, via Puck Daddy

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnhl and @agretz on Twitter.

Comments
kkjyywlpo
Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 15, 2011 10:27 pm
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Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: August 9, 2011 2:45 pm
 

Latest on Doughty contract situation

If Doughty and his agents stick to their guns he'll get paid, and he'll get paid in a big way.  It's not like LA doesn't need the kid, he's an excellent hockey player that in my opinion is on his way to becoming a superstar.   If they don't pay him they'll be forced to trade him, it's that simple. They should have thought about this a long time ago instead of waiting for dmen with less then half the talent to sign the insane deals that were signed this summer.  No turning back now.  Either they pay him or they lose him..... take your pick. 



Since: Sep 15, 2006
Posted on: August 9, 2011 2:19 pm
 

Latest on Doughty contract situation

The Oilers GM I believe was the last one to go after a RFA with a ridiculous offer sheet. That was a couple years back when he put an offer on Sabres Thomas Vanek. He basically made the Sabres pay through the nose to keep Vanek on the team. I know after that GMs were really pissed off about it and I don't think it has happened again since, although I could be wrong. It was looked at by other GMs as Dirty Play doing that to another team for one of thier star players. So Drew Doughty is stuck now with no offers and the unwritten law of NHL GMs now. This kid should be Paid as he is probably the best up and coming D man in the NHL. Look what he did for Team Canada in the Olympics and the scoring he has put up in the past few seasons. His numbers are great and I read in the article that they declines but when some of your other offensive stars are hurt of corse your numbers will be affected. 



Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: August 9, 2011 10:06 am
 

Latest on Doughty contract situation

Max allowed for his status in 5 year contract per the CBA, but your point is right on.   Overpay him now and make him happy.   Lombardi should have had it all but wrapped up as soon as the NHLPA excercised their allowed 5% increase on the cap last summer.     After the all-star break, almost every projection put revenue for the league in the black, and it's amazing that Lombardi didn't take care of things before all the other d-men rfas and potential 1st pairing blueliners were signed.   It's frustrating to watch the gm, because LA looks like a franchise with all the pieces to have a real contender, Lombardi has proved he can draft well, but I don't trust him outside of individual player evaluation.   I doubt McCabe's or Campoli's contract is going to help get Doughty signed any sooner.

Hockeybob. I had no idea he's only allowed a maximum of a 5 year deal, thanks for the info.  That being said maybe a 5 year offer a year ago for 30 million with 18 or 20 of it front loaded over the first 2 years would have gotten the job done.  Supply and demand is fairly concept to understand.  There were very few free agent dmen out there worth much and Lombardi had to know they would be overpaid which would result in Doughty's value going up considerably.  Lombardi is trying to get himself out of this mess but making excuses but that's not going to work out for him.  He says Weber's situation is much different because he's an UFA in a year. Hes  says others that signed big contracts made their money as UFA.  None of that is going to help him right now... not one bit.  Stupid move waiting this long. 

I would still very much enjoy seeing Doughty in a Wings uniform. But unless Kenny Holland bumps his head and does something he's never done and sign a RFA to an offer sheet, that can't happen.  Not sure LA wouldn't match the other but I'd happily give up 2 first round picks, a second and a third for Doughty.  I'd love to see Holland sign him to a 5 year deal for about 36 million or 7.2 per season.  Front load his deal for about 30 million the first 3 years and let LA scramble to try and get it done.  At the very least that would teach Lombardi a lesson.

As for the Kings, I agree with your assessment and believe they have the necessary pieces to win it all.  BUT... something about them bugs me.  I don't know what it is but even with all the talent they simply don't get it done.  I don't know what the answer is. 
 



Since: Jul 1, 2010
Posted on: August 9, 2011 9:38 am
 

Latest on Doughty contract situation

What would Doughty's agents have said a year ago or last summer to a 10 year extension for 60 million dollars with let's say 20 million payable over the first 2 seasons?  That's a cap hit of 6 million per season until Doughty turns 32 years old. 
Max allowed for his status in 5 year contract per the CBA, but your point is right on.   Overpay him now and make him happy.   Lombardi should have had it all but wrapped up as soon as the NHLPA excercised their allowed 5% increase on the cap last summer.     After the all-star break, almost every projection put revenue for the league in the black, and it's amazing that Lombardi didn't take care of things before all the other d-men rfas and potential 1st pairing blueliners were signed.   It's frustrating to watch the gm, because LA looks like a franchise with all the pieces to have a real contender, Lombardi has proved he can draft well, but I don't trust him outside of individual player evaluation.   I doubt McCabe's or Campoli's contract is going to help get Doughty signed any sooner.





Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: August 8, 2011 12:12 pm
 

Latest on Doughty contract situation

I think Lombardi screwed himself more than any arbitor did.    Dozens of players signed extensions that proved to be far less valuable than they would have been on the open market.   Lombardi had over a year to plan and make this extension happen.    It never should have come this far, now he'll have to pay more than he should, that's what happens when gms drop the ball.   The cap was projected to go up before the trade deadline, and formally announced over a week before free agency started.    No excuse to let him sit unless he wasn't that much of a priority.  Lombardi dropped the ball, and he's going to pay more than he should have to pick it back up.

Hockeybob, great post.  I agree 100 percent with what you said because had Lombardi acted a lot sooner then he did the Kings most likely wouldn't be in the position they are in today.  As you pointed out, this day didn't exactly just creep up on Lombardi.  He knew a long time ago Doughty's contract was expiring.  He also knew many months ago the cap was going up.  I read reports over 6 months ago predicting the cap would go up exactly what it ended up rising to..... no surprises here.  Well, actually there is one surprise and that is how Lombardi waited this long to get a deal done.   It's normally near impossible for a RFA that doesn't have arbitration rights to have the upper hand in negotiations but in this case that's exactly what happened.  It's rare, but that's the boat Lombardi put himself in. 

What would Doughty's agents have said a year ago or last summer to a 10 year extension for 60 million dollars with let's say 20 million payable over the first 2 seasons?  That's a cap hit of 6 million per season until Doughty turns 32 years old.  Would Doughty and his people have turned an offer like that a year ago?  We'll never know but I'm not so sure they would have said no.....

Normally I don't like to compare the contracts or signings of UFA's with RFA's because they are entirely 2 different situations.  But when Doughty and his people see a guy like Wisniewski score a 33 million dollar 5 year contract at 5.6 million per season that can't help the Kings. When they see a guy like Jovanovski sign a deal for over 4 million per season for four years starting at the age of 35 that can't help the Kings.  When they see a guy like Erhoff get 40 million for 10 years with 18 front loaded over the first 2 seasons that also can't help the Kings.

Yes, they are UFA's and teams were forced to reach the floor of the hard cap. But the gap in talent and potential of those guys in comparison with Doughty is so huge and so extreme in my opinion their contracts are not going to be ignored when sitting at the table and negotiating an extension for Doughty.  

If they can't come to terms by the time training camp comes around I wouldn't be at all surprised if the Kings look to trade Doughty.  I'm willing to bet a few teams are willling to meet Doughty's contract demands, even if they won't cross that imaginary line management has drawn in the sand and won't sign Doughty to an offer sheet.  We could see teams in the eastern conference tripping over themselves in a bidding war to trade for his rights since I highly doubt the Kings would trade him to anybody in the west. 



Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: August 8, 2011 11:59 am
 

Latest on Doughty contract situation

my offer to doughty would be like 5 years 30mil kings have enough cap space to give him 6 per yr

You mean about 5 o 6 percent more then Wisniewski signed for?  Don't get me wrong, I understand Wisniewski was an UFA and there were very few available.  I also understand teams needed to spend to reach the floor of the hard cap but regardless, I would be very surprised. Actually I would be shocked if Doughty accepts 6 million per season for 5 seasons.  First of all I believe Doughty only has 4 years to play before he can become an UFA.   And of course after 3 he'll still be eligible for arbitration.  The only way I wouldn't be nearly as shocked at Doughty agreeing to a 6 million dollar salary is if it's only for 3 seasons, with a year of arbitration to follow and unrestricted free agency immediately after that.  Unless Doughty gets hurt there is absolutely no reason he would need to accept a 5 year year deal with the Kings at that price.  The deal you proposed would be perfect for the Kings, not so perfect and unnecessary for Doughty.

 



Since: Jul 1, 2010
Posted on: August 7, 2011 9:28 pm
 

Latest on Doughty contract situation

I think Lombardi screwed himself more than any arbitor did.    Dozens of players signed extensions that proved to be far less valuable than they would have been on the open market.   Lombardi had over a year to plan and make this extension happen.    It never should have come this far, now he'll have to pay more than he should, that's what happens when gms drop the ball.   The cap was projected to go up before the trade deadline, and formally announced over a week before free agency started.    No excuse to let him sit unless he wasn't that much of a priority.  Lombardi dropped the ball, and he's going to pay more than he should have to pick it back up.



Since: Jul 17, 2011
Posted on: August 7, 2011 10:47 am
 

Latest on Doughty contract situation

arbitratior screwed the kings big time giving weber 7.5 weber is great but i think 6 mil max would have been more appropriate. my offer to doughty would be like 5 years 30mil kings have enough cap space to give him 6 per yr



Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: August 7, 2011 12:39 am
 

Latest on Doughty contract situation

Some GM from one of the teams that is under the cap floor should grow a set and offer Doughty a fair contract to gauge just how much the LA Kings appreciate their young superstar blueliner.

It's not about growing a set, it's about the unwritten rule that in my opinion exists in the NHL.   The compensation being steep can't be the only reason NOBODY is offering a young dynamo like Doughty a contract.  As much as a 7.4 million dollar cap hit would only mean 2 first round picks, 1 second and 1 third.  Big deal.  Players like this kid don't come around every year or even every 5 years.  I'd love to see somebody break that rule and offer him a deal but I doubt that's gonna happen. 


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