If you weren’t bummed out by the NHL lockout just yet, things probably hit home today. Fans in Philadelphia, Colorado, Montreal and Calgary should be filling their local arenas tonight for the start of the 2012-13 NHL season. Yet as everybody knows, that isn’t happening.
Sadly, the Kings won’t be raising their Stanley Cup banner tomorrow night either.
“I’m just trying to stay positive,” Drew Doughty told TSN, who caught up with the Kings’ defenseman at a recent junior hockey practice in London, Ontario. He’s been skating with the local team on occasion, trying to stay in shape in case a deal gets worked out soon between the NHL and the NHLPA.
At the very least, he’s trying to put a positive spin on an otherwise unfortunate situation.
“I had a long season last year, making it all the way (to the Stanley Cup),” he explained. “To have a little bit of an extended summer isn’t a bad thing. But, it’s starting to take a toll on me. I’m starting to get a little bored just hanging out at home by myself. So, I’m looking forward to hopefully getting (the season) started soon.”
Until then, he’ll continue to skate with his new ‘team’ – even if he hasn’t always been extremely high on the local club.
“I didn’t like the Knights a lot when I was playing against them, obviously,” proclaimed Doughty, a former member of the rival Guelph Storm. “But they’ve been very generous (since).”
Who knows, he just might return to LA with a few new tricks too. During one session this week, Doughty and Anaheim Ducks forward Corey Perry participated in a special shootout at the end of practice – with an incentive tied to it for the players, make goals and avoid an extra skate before hitting the showers.
From the sound of things, Doughty put on quite the performance too.
“He made a few stick-handle moves that I’ve never seen before,” said Perry. “I don’t have that kind of repertoire in my bag, so I just went out and did my thing.”
Knights’ goalie Jake Patterson took his lumps in stride – “He ended up making me look not too good. But, I guess that happens when you’re up against Drew Doughty.”
As for number-8 himself, he added his own unique spin on things.
“It was a big goal,” explained the former Norris Trophy finalist. “If they scored three of the nine goals, they didn’t have to skate (after practice). So it came down to me and Pears as the last two shots and luckily we both buried for the guys.”
Back to the real topic though – the lockout – where Doughty says he isn’t sure what’s going to happen or when.
“It’s hard to tell. At any time, both sides could agree (to a deal),” he said. “I have no idea when it’ll happen. So, I’m just trying to stay ready for the point when it does.”
Watch Doughty’s shootout moves vs. Patterson here.
For more on Doughty and Perry hanging out, see our feature piece from earlier this summer.