Blog Entry

More on Drew Doughty and the Kings

Posted on: September 8, 2011 6:55 pm
Edited on: September 8, 2011 7:04 pm
 
Doughty1By: Adam Gretz

There are still a small number of restricted free agents yet to sign a new deal with their respective clubs, and perhaps none are bigger than Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty. Training camp is just around the corner, and with each passing day it's looking more and more likely that the young standout may not be signed on time, a situation that was discussed back in early August.

Earlier on Thursday Helene Elliot of the Los Angeles Times tweeted that Kings general manager Dean Lombardi and Doughty's agent, Don Meehan, have agreed that they won't publicly comment on the negotiations (with no deal appearing imminent), while it's also expected that the 21-year-old defenseman will not attend the team's hockey fanfest this upcoming weekend.

That news was eventually followed by Sportsnet's Nick Kypreos asking where the Kings go now that Doughty has reportedly turned down multiple offers, including a potential nine-year, $61.2 million contract.

Assuming that offer was on the table, it would have matched Anze Kopitar for the largest average annual salary ($6.8 million) on the team. It also would have put him in the top-20 among all NHL salary cap hits, and fourth among defensemen for the 2010-11 season, trailing only Nashville's Shea Weber, Florida's Brian Campbell and Boston's Zdeno Chara

Doughty, who turns 22 in December, is coming off a season that saw him score 11 goals and 29 assists in 76 games, a decent drop from the previous season when he recorded 59 points from the blue line.

When you're talking about a contract, especially with a player as young as Doughty, you're not just paying for what the player has done (and when you're looking at a player like Doughty you're dealing with a player that's already a bright young star in the NHL) but also what the player will do in the future. There's projection involved, and for as good as Doughty already is, he's likely to get better for at least a couple of more years.

Is that worth making him one of the five-highest paid defensemen in the NHL at this point?

The Kings were willing to go to nearly $7 million on a contract for Kopitar after three seasons (the same point in his career that Doughty is) when Kopitar probably wasn't held in as high a regard among other forwards across the league as Doughty currently is among other defensemen. So it shouldn't seem that outrageous that numbers like this are being kicked around.

In the end, I still think something that falls somewhere between the cap hit Keith Yandle received earlier this summer, and the $7 million mark that has been topped by a small handful of defensemen is a more than fair average annual salary for what Doughty has already accomplished, and what he should accomplish in the near future.

There is still time to work something out and get Doughty signed before any of training camp (or worse, actual regular season games) is missed, but it does appeare to be running out.

Photo: Getty Images

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Comments
kkjyywlpo
Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 15, 2011 10:25 pm
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Since: Jul 17, 2011
Posted on: September 9, 2011 5:09 pm
 

More on Drew Doughty and the Kings

turning down that 9 yr offer seems like he doesnt want to be in LA long term


little ceasars
Since: Jan 1, 2009
Posted on: September 9, 2011 3:16 pm
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Since: Sep 6, 2007
Posted on: September 9, 2011 12:21 pm
 

More on Drew Doughty and the Kings

Dang Drew Doughty !! How much more could you want than 9 years and $61MM?  That's about as good as it gets for a hockey player in the salary cap era  Unless you're looking for a shorter term deal so he can try to really break the bank at say 27?  40 points last year and a first round playoff exit doesn't really help the case for getting more.


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