All Doughty All the Time

A bunch of clips I keep forgetting to pass along.

Brophy on NHL: Blueline hardball - sportsnet.ca
In an age of free agent overspending, three d-men have fallen victim to common sense. One area where many NHL general managers have failed regarding the current collective bargaining agreement is their inability to hold down costs they can actually control - namely with restricted free agents. Even though they hold the hammer in negotiations because players really don't have many options when they are RFAs, many teams opt to pay their young players much more than they need to. [...]

So it's interesting that, as we enter the final year of the CBA, three teams appear to be playing hardball with their young defencemen. In Los Angeles, the Kings have not yet come to an agreement with rising star Drew Doughty and the negotiations don't seem to be going all that well. Kings GM Dean Lombardi has drawn a line in the sand and appears not to be anxious to hand the young defender one of those long-term, big-money packages that have bit so many of his fellow GMs in the butt the past few years.

Doughty might not be blamed for thinking, "Why me? Why now?"

On the other hand, the second overall pick from the 2008 NHL Entry Draft did take a step back last season after a wonderful sophomore campaign the year before. [...] To his credit, Doughty's season did get progressively better after a horrible start, but when your numbers go down, it's hard to imagine being in much of a position of strength when it comes to negotiations. There has already been plenty of talk that Doughty could miss the start of training camp, if not the start of the season.  

Red Light District: What should Doughty’s contract be worth?

Los Angeles Kings GM Dean Lombardi has one more task this summer: sign Drew Doughty, who is the most notable restricted free agent currently unsigned. [...] What is Doughty worth? How will other contracts that star RFA’s received this summer impact what the defenseman will make?

We all know Doughty is a talented player in the NHL with a bright future. He was a Norris Trophy finalist in 2009-10 after a 59-point output[...]. Doughty struggled to duplicate that campaign last year, recording just 40 points. Overall, though, he’s considered one of the league’s best young defenseman [...]. There’s been speculation all off-season that Doughty’s camp was waiting for Weber’s deal [...] before moving along in negotiations with the Kings. Weber received a one-year, $7.5 million arbitration award last week, making him the NHL’s fifth-highest paid defenseman (salary-wise, not cap hit). Here’s the difference between the two players, though: Weber is an elite defenseman (and five years older); Doughty has shown signs he can be, but not consistently. [...]

[...] Steven Stamkos signed a five-year, $37.5 million contract in July, also worth $7.5 million/year. Both [...] went through rookie seasons that had more downs than ups. In their sophomore years, each took the next step towards stardom with breakout seasons. The difference is the 2010-11 season, where Stamkos showed what he is truly capable when on top of his game, while Doughty struggled with consistency. [...]

Two other players that signed big extensions this summer were defensemen Brent Burns and Keith Yandle. [...] On the surface, [Doughty is] better than both of them. [ON THE SURFACE?? -Q] Burns, when healthy, is a really good top-pairing defenseman. But he’s only played two 80-plus-game seasons in his seven-year NHL career. [...] Yandle is one of the more underrated blue-liners in the game today. Between Doughty’s sheer potential, his Norris Trophy nomination and Team Canada participation in the 2010 Olympics, he has a better resume than Burns and Yandle at a younger age.

Something else to consider is Doughty’s asking price. He reportedly has made it known that he wants to be the highest-paid player on the Kings roster. Currently, that title belongs to newly-acquired Mike Richards, who will rake in $6.6 million this season. (Anze Kopitar has the highest cap hit: $6.8 million.) [...]

Doughty doesn’t deserve the $7.5 million that Weber and Stamkos received, but he’s better than Burns and Yandle. A number somewhere in the middle would be $6.5 million. And if Doughty becomes the highest-paid Kings player, his salary and/or cap could potentially hover around $6.75 million on a long-term contract (six years? Eight?). Then the question becomes, is Doughty worth that much to the Kings?

As long as the stud rearguard continues to progress, absolutely he would be. 

Doughty negotiations may drag into September - NBA- NBC Sports

Drew Doughty and the Los Angeles Kings have not held new discussions on a contract for the past two weeks. However, the Kings reportedly have a long-term offer on the table for the talented defender. "I think it's fair to say that in the last conversation, we set the parameters, as to where we feel his contract should be," said GM Dean Lombardi. "We talked about a number of scenarios, and I guess now it's their move. They never really responded." Negotiations could extend into late August and into September at this time. Stay tuned.

Could take even longer if Doughty insists on playing in the NBA.

Drew Doughty's negotiations with Los Angeles Kings could last into September - NHL - Sporting News
The Los Angeles Kings' negotiations with defenseman Drew Doughty could extend into September, according to a report by LAKingsInsider.com. The team has a long-term offer to Doughty, 22, on the table, and GM Dean Lombardi is waiting for a response. Drew Doughty, at 22, has the look of a perennial Norris Trophy candidate. 

The Sheet: Much Doughty about it - sportsnet.ca
The Drew Doughty saga in sunny Los Angeles has dragged out all summer as the Kings look to lock up their star defenceman to a long term-deal. The two sides appear to be far apart still [...]. I know this has dragged on all summer and many, (my hand goes up,) thought the Shea Weber arbitration ruling would help move things along after setting the bar but I don't see this continuing into training camp. Having said that, Lombardi has been quite vocal this summer about the elimination of the second contract in the NHL as players coming off their entry-level contracts (ELC) to cash in with large deals immediately. Surprise, surprise, Lombardi doesn't like it but the reality is given the nature of the salary cap, the NHL is now a prospector's league where you gamble on how a player will end up by the end of his contract. You have to hope now that even though a player may earn a little more than you feel he's worth at the front end of the contract, by the end of the deal you could have a bargain. Where, once upon a time, teams rewarded older players for past performance while keeping younger players salaries down, ("pay yer dues, kid"), that's now a recipe for disappointment and eventually a buyout. Things should be resolved soon because as much as Lombardi may not like the situation, he's too smart to go to war with his franchise player.

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