- Assume the Kings start the season without Drew Doughty.
- The strategy of Meehan/Doughty will be to wait for the Kings to crumble without Doughty and come scurrying back with a better offer.
- The strategy of Lombardi will be to weather the storm till 12/1, which is the date Doughty must sign by or he sits out the season, per the CBA.
- Last year, the Kings were 13-10-0 (26 points) on 12/1.
- Last season, the Kings finished with 98 points. That's 1.195 points per game. Which would have been 27.5 points on 12/1.
- This year, the Kings have 24 games by 12/1. To equal last year's pace, they would need 28.5 points out of those 24 games. That's a record of 14-10-0, or 14-9-1, depending on whether you round up or down.
- Do you think Lombardi thinks the Kings can win 14 out of 24 games without Doughty?
- (I think he does)
- If your answer is yes, then doesn't it make sense for Lombardi to
stick to his guns and wait for Doughty to accept the paltry $6.8MM/7 years (if indeed that is the best offer)?
If your answer is no, then I assume you think Lombardi will blink first, rather than throwing the season away and probably losing his job in the process.
What does it look like if Lombardi blinks? It isn't going to be $7MM/5 years. What about $7.5MM for seven years, throwing out the Anze Kopitar "line in the sand" but sticking to the term "line"? Or is it going to be a one-year deal, so we can do all do this again next year with an arbitrator?
(my guess is Lombardi would do the one year deal before any of the other bad options)
I think Lombardi thinks the team will be able to weather the storm for 24 games. I've even started wondering if that wasn't the point in adding Mike Richards
and Simon Gagne
(and Ethan Moreau
, even Trent Hunter
...). Sort of like a playoff run, in October/November. And in a backasswards way, Doughty sitting out would mitigate, even erase, all the irrational exuberance and high expectations surrounding the Kings this season -- which can work to our advantage (remember Gretzky's back injury in 1992 and how that season -- the Cup Finals season -- was supposedly doomed? Even the Blake trade in 2001 was supposed to be the end; instead, the Kings won a playoff round for the first time since 1993). These particular Kings have never functioned well under the pressure of expectations.
I would prefer Doughty take a fair deal and continue to be a good guy and valued teammate, instead of Cammalleri/Blake 2.0. I'm not wishing for a hold-out. But I'm not afraid of one, either.