As hockey fans await news on the Drew Doughty contract front, so too does Doughty and his agent Don Meehan. According to comments made by Meehan in a report from Helene Elliott of the Los Angeles Times, Doughty’s camp has not heard from the Kings since June 23rd. The Kings are believed to be offering somewhere in the 9-years at $6.5 million per range, but nothing appears to be imminent.
Meehan on his client and the Kings:
“I think he’d be happy to stay if we agree upon terms that are acceptable to him. And those are our instructions, to negotiate with L.A. on that basis to secure something that he’d be happy with.”
Although talks appear to be stalled, Meehan remains optimistic that the two sides will come together when the time is right:
“I know how important Drew Doughty is to the Los Angeles Kings on a going-forward basis. I think that’s something that they’re very well aware of and they know what they have to do. And I’m sure at the appropriate time we’ll all get together and have further discussions.”
The holdup is rather puzzling considering the Kings struck out in the Brad Richards’ sweepstakes and have already made a big splash in the acquisition department by picking up Mike Richards from Philadelphia. With nearly $11 million in cap space and the bulk of their roster in place, locking up Doughty should be the club’s top priority. Not to say that it isn’t, but there’s inherent risk in letting 21-year old RFA of Doughty’s pedigree sit idle.
Doughty didn’t neccesarily live up to offensive expectations that were levied upon him last season, but still turned in a fairly impressive performance overall. He led all Kings players in TOI/G at 25:38 and skated against opponent’s top lines on a nightly basis and still put up 11-goals and 40-points. He was among team leaders in relative Corsi and was relied upon almost equally in the offensive and defensive zones on draws, posting improvements in both areas compared to his 2009-10 numbers. His production dipped from 59-points a season earlier, but made strides in his all around game and also turned in a memorable four point performance in Game 2 of the Western Conference quarter final versus San Jose.
Let’s wrap this up, Dean Lombardi and co.