If the summer long drama between the Los Angeles Kings and defenseman Drew Doughty has been resolved with an ‘all’s well that ends well’ solution, we’ll know soon enough.
The primary fact at the moment though is that a contract has been agreed upon and he’ll be rejoining his teammates soon, as they prepare for what many expect to be a big year for the Kings.
Doughty is set to receive $7 million per season for the eight next years. That’s slightly more than the $6.8 million Anze Kopitar is under contract for and pushes Doughty’s potential free agent years out a bit. Thus, it appears to be a win-win for both sides.
There are still many questions to be answered – like when will he practice, when will he play his first game, etc.? Most importantly though, he’ll be in the line-up next Friday when the Kings open the season against the New York Rangers in Stockholm.
Doughty was originally selected by the Kings with the number two overall pick in the 2008 NHL Draft. At the time, he was coming off of being named the Ontario Hockey League’s Defenseman of the Year for the Guelph Storm – coincidentally, the same team Kings’ captain Dustin Brown had played for a few years prior.
The 21-year old native of London, Ontario has also received several accolades and awards since then – including being named the Kings Outstanding Defenseman for three straight seasons (2011, 2010, and 2009), being voted as the Kings Best Newcomer (Mark Bavis Memorial Award) in 2009, selected to the NHL’s All-Rookie Team for the 2008-09 season, winning a gold medal with Team Canada at the 2010 Winter Olympics and he was nominated for the Norris Trophy (best defeseman) the same year.
Last season he led the team in minutes played (25:38) and was tops among all Kings defensemen with 11 goals.
In 239 regular season games in his young NHL career, Doughty has recorded 126 points (33 goals, 93 assists). He’s also picked up five goals and six assists in 12 post-season games with the Kings.
Regarding his immediate future, Doughty has been confirmed by the team as traveling with the club to Frozen Fury this weekend. But, will he play in Las Vegas?
According to Helene Elliott of the LA Times, Doughty says he thinks he can play as soon as the team asks him to – including this weekend. “I think I’m in great shape,” said Doughty. From various reports, it appears he’ll be leaving for LA soon to complete a physical and officially sign the deal.
Goalie Jonathan Quick wasted no time thumbing out the following tweet upon the news being released tonight – ‘Congrats to drew doughty on his new deal, who’s pickin the restaurant? #thanksdewey #surfnturf’
Kevin Westgarth tweeted – ‘I missed our little guy! #noonewasworried #8isgreat’
For the first time in months, Kings GM Dean Lombardi is probably going to sleep like a baby. Mission accomplished – he now starts the year with the best Kings roster in team history.
More information will be posted as it becomes available.
…oh, and yes – those Drewmageddon shirts are now available for sale in the MayorsManor store …click here to pick one up!