by Dan Adkisson
It was a special day recently for Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty, who has now amassed a thousand appearances across the regular season for his team. The Kings decided to show their love for Doughty via a tribute, which took place prior to the Kings 5-2 defeat at the hands of the Edmonton Oilers. But nothing was going to steal the occasion away from Doughty.
The ceremony for Doughty, who is the alternate captain for his team, saw him become the 359th player in the history of the NHL to clear 1,000 games. And, when you consider how many players have been involved in the sport over the years, that puts him in a very prestigious group. Doughty had actually hit the 1,000 regular-season game mark on January 27 when the Kings faced off in a road game against the New York Islanders, but they wanted to hold off to prepare a ceremony on home ice that was fitting for the magnitude of this achievement.
Doughty, 32, who hails from London, Ontario, was joined on the ice by his family, along with Luc Robitaille, the Kings President — who presented a crystal trophy on the NHL’s behalf. Kings General Manager, Rob Blake, was also involved in the ceremony, gifted a silver stick to Doughty as a sign of gratitude from the club.
Everyone on the ice, and around it, waited eagerly to hear from the man of the moment, Doughty himself. And, in typical fashion, he kept his address short, sweet and straight to the point by thanking his family, the fans, his teammates, Kings and the wider NHL audience. He also thanked Edmonton, who were waiting to start the game, by saying, “Edmonton, thanks for going through this; I know it sucks watching it, but we’ll get out here in a sec.”
In his 1,000 NHL games for the Kings, the team he was drafted to in 2008, becoming the first player from that specific class to do so, Doughty has achieved somewhat more than many may have expected. Not only is he a two-time Stanley Cup winner, but he’s been named an NHL All-Star on five occasions, and he’s a Norris Trophy winner.
Talking about winning, Doughty’s achievements aren’t done there; he’s won a World Junior Championship gold medal, World Cup gold medal and is a two-time Olympic gold medalist. So, it’s fair to say when the former Guelph Storm (OHL) rookie is involved on the ice, he’s capable of often tipping the NHL betting odds in their favour, for any team he’s representing.
Doughty has only ever represented the Kings in the NHL and is now into his fourteenth campaign. In terms of others who have reached the 1,000 game milestone for the team, Doughty joins Dustin Browne, Anze Kopitar, Dave Taylor and Robitaille in the prestigious club.
Doughty’s achieved everything there is to accomplish on the ice, so his next target could be chasing down the appearance record. But, he will have a tough job on his hands, as teammate Dustin Brown holds the record and continues to extend it each time he takes to the ice. To date, Brown has played in over 1,250 NHL games and counting.