General Manager Dean Lombardi said Friday the Kings have made their "best" offer to restricted free agent defenseman Drew Doughty and will proceed through training camp without him. "We all know he’s a lively kid. He loves to play. He brings life to your room, let alone what type of player he is," Lombardi said [...]. The Kings have offered Doughty an average of $6.8 million a year and were open to durations of six to eight years[...]. But Doughty’s agent, Don Meehan, is believed to be requesting an average of $7 million -- and here’s where it gets complicated.
Meehan used to represent Kopitar but lost him as a client to Pat Brisson, another powerful agent whose roster includes Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby. Brisson is a close friend of Luc Robitaille, who is the Kings’ president of business operations. Robitaille had access to Kopitar and could have helped steer Kopitar to Brisson, costing Meehan a high-profile client. [...] Meehan now wants Doughty, who has enormous talent but has had one good season, one extraordinary season and a bumpy season, to be paid more than Kopitar. That would be a coup for Meehan in recruiting future clients and, some in the industry suggest, an in-your-face to Brisson. [...]
"Even though we’re going through this I still believe that Kings phone is sitting in his bedroom," Lombardi said, referring to Doughty’s frequently told story of growing up as an avid Kings fan and having a phone with a Kings logo. "We all know this kid. His teammates love him and he loves being at the rink. Quite frankly, Drew’s the type of kid who’d play for a six-pack of beer. There’s no doubt that deep down that’s what this kid is all about."
My advice to Doughty, in three simple steps, outlines a plan which would in one fell swoop not only heal Doughty's damaged reputation but would instantly catapult him to rock-star/folk hero status:
- Fire Meehan.
- Sign with Brisson.
- Accept Lombardi's offer.