Ken Campbell Attacks Straw Fan on behalf of Drew Doughty

The Hockey News: Ken Campbell's Column: Contract negotiations don't define Doughty's character

Judging by the comments on most hockey websites [...], the overwhelming sentiment seems to be that Doughty is nothing but a petulant, snot-nosed young man with an overinflated sense of entitlement. That, of course, comes largely from people who believe if they were in the same position as Doughty is right now, they’d be thrilled to get a fraction of the money he makes to live the dream of playing in the NHL.

If that were true, these same people would be just as upset if Lombardi were only offering Doughty a million dollars a year. Actually, if you are familiar with the history of the attitudes of Kings fans (as represented by commenters on blogs), you would know that Kings commenters blame Lombardi for 90% of everything (and Jamie Kompon for the rest).

Coincidentally, those people, for the most part, have no clue of the enormous sacrifices and level of commitment that were required for Doughty to get where he is and the fact he is among the best in the world at what he does.

You're building a straw man here. "For the most part", I think fans are clued-in to the enormous sacrifice and commitment. I also don't think anyone doubts that Doughty is among the best in the world. How $6.8MM for seven years is less than "what he's worth", yet $7MM for five years is fair, is a distinction that's less clear.

Ever wonder why hockey players never settle for less than what they believe they’re worth? Can it be that every single one of them is a greedy, self-absorbed jerk? Don’t think so.

I never wondered about this because I don't believe it's true. In fact, I assume players (just like normal people) settle for less than what they think they're worth all the time. That's a fact of life.

[...] the fact of the matter is Doughty is fully within his rights to demand whatever amount of money and term he wants and the Kings are fully within their rights to tell him they have no intention of paying it. Doughty has no contractual obligation to take part in training camp and the Kings have no contractual obligation to allow him to do so.

And he can't play in the NHL until it's resolved.

[...] there are [...] those who believe training camp is overrated in terms of preparing a player for the season. Is Doughty really going to get better playing scrimmages against guys who will probably never share an NHL ice surface with him? And the days of players using training camp to get into game shape went away with horsehair goalie pads. Players keep up a high level of conditioning when they’re not playing hockey and the fact is Doughty is probably in better shape right now than he will be at mid-season.

Yes, I'm sure Doughty was in worse shape in the middle of last season than he is now after several months of playing against nobody at all.

There’s a perfectly good reason why Doughty wants more than the $6.8 million annually the Kings gave Anze Kopitar on a seven-year deal two years ago. It’s because Doughty thinks he’s worth more than Kopitar.

That's not a reason. That's a tautology.

He might be right. Or he might be way off base. But he has every right to think it and to demand to be the highest-paid player on the Kings.

Everyone has the right to think everything that can be thought. But when you say "has the right to demand" it implies that he has the power to enforce that demand. Obviously, he doesn't have "the right to demand" in that sense. He can ask.

When things get emotional, as they have in the case of the Doughty negotiation, rational thought sometimes becomes a casualty.

What's your evidence that things have gotten emotional? Lombardi is the only one talking, and he's never said anything about talks getting heated. In fact, far from "things getting emotional," it seems like Lombardi and Meehan are calmly but stubbornly sitting in the same place they were three months ago.

Case in point was when Kings GM Dean Lombardi declared he the Kings were considering docking Doughty $25,000 every day Doughty missed training camp. Lombardi was quoted as saying players sign up for 275 days of work. "That was the one thing that changed during the CBA, that players were paid during training camp." Not sure when Lombardi dug up that nugget, but suffice to say he had to clarify himself after saying it. First, players are not paid during training camp or the playoffs. They are paid on a per-day basis based on the exact number of days during the regular season, which is 185 in 2011-12. Lombardi was referring to a provision in the CBA that allows teams to dock players for each day they don’t take part in training camp, but that applies only to players who are under contract. Doughty is not and the only way his salary will be pro-rated in any way is if he signs his contract after the regular season begins Oct. 6.

Er, yes, Ken, the provisions of contracts only apply to people who have signed contracts. You can't be "docked" pay for a job that you don't have. As far as I know, you are the one referring to docking pay. Lombardi said (paraphrasing from memory here) that the most recent offer would be reduced to reflect the fact that Doughty is missing days of camp. No, he's not going to be "docked pay." He's just going to be offered less money.

[...] And while we’re talking about semantics here, can we all finally dispense with the notion that Doughty is a holdout?

"hold out" -- to refuse to satisfy or reach an agreement.

So, no, we can't dispense with the notion that he is one, because he is one.