Dancing in the Reign: Having Doughts?
An offer of nine-years at $61.2 Million has reportedly been denied by Drew Doughty‘s camp.
Leaning Toward Dean: Here’s my chance to be blunt about the Drew Doughty contract situation, straight forward. That door was opened today amidst reports of Doughty’s most recent contract denial offered by Dean Lombardi. Lord help me if I didn’t worship Doughty’s timeline to re-sign and waste more important thoughts this summer. If the Kings weren’t trying, it’s another story. That’s three offers Lombardi has thrown on the table this summer, the most recent offer carrying Anze Kopitar-type money. Still, not good enough. The guy is 21 years-old, arguably the highest-touted young defenseman in the NHL, and a celebrity in the Canadian hockey market after his stellar performance during the 2010 Winter Olympics with Team Canada. So yes, Doughty’s camp is in the hunt for serious pay and solid job security; But is nine seasons while equaling the yearly salary of Anze Kopitar not good enough?
Thinking it’s time for a gut-check.
Shut the f*ck up Penner. Christ.
Back To The Future
Queue the first installment of June’s KingsCast Summer Hockey Roundtable for a serious dose of honest Doughty critique. Food for thought.
Sour Aftertaste: Please realize here, the members in this group of hockey media in the Episode above are not bashing Doughty’s skill, his value to the Kings blue-line, or his career potential. That’s been well advertised by Doughty himself, but the issues at-hand center on his attitude, his conditioning, feeding to the question that’s building solidity: Is Drew Doughty really worthy of being the highest paid-player on this team?
Attitude wasn’t the only downfall last season.
Trying To Find A Balance: Let’s swap those statistics, and if Doughty’s camp is being this stingy with contract negotiations, then so be it, you can’t argue with 82 games and 59 points. However, a pretty drastic downfall is the reality here, and there seems to be a bit too much demand for the supply – at this point in time. On August 30th, less than ten days ago, Helene Elliott of the Los Angeles Times reported what seemed to be a concurrence of terms between the Kings and Drew Doughty:
“Lombardi said he spoke Monday with Doughty’s agent, Don Meehan, and made an offer that “codifies what we’ve been talking about for a while.” Lombardi said the offer includes “different lengths for him to consider,” likely six to eight years.”
I consider this report to still be deemed ‘recent’ the way this summer has gone, and the Kings’ latest offer of $61.2 million over a 9-year span must be a result of it. Once the funds are broken into a yearly-salary, Doughty is earning just as much as Anze Kopitar – and situated until he’s 30 years-old. I’m lost here, what’s wrong? They may not want more money overall, but a chunkier yearly-salary over a shorter term, positioning him young and rich with NHL freedom in a few years.
Thirsty for Attention.
M.I.A. – Missing In Appearances: Doughty’s lack of public appearances have jolted the nerves of fans all summer, stemming from his cancellation to boarding the LA Kings Fan Cruise to the recent revelation that #8 will not attend Sunday’s Hockey Fest. The common justification for this will be something along the lines of “Doughty is afraid of getting hammered with contract questions.” If Doughty and the Kings were seriously on the same page, and confident in negotiations, this problem is fixed in an instant. What do scrap employees go for these days, 8.50 an hour? That’s what I make, so I’d consider that fair. “No contract questions for Mr. Doughty, Ma’am”. Simple. If everything is on-par internally with the Kings and Doughty, there’s no shame in shielding certain questions from fans in public environments.
Speaking of Hockey Fest, let’s back-track to last year’s event to take another look at Dean Lombardi‘s “Passionate Proclomation”. Check 3:19 – 5:10 in KingsCast‘s Episode 69.
What’s It Going To Be?: It’s starting to have a negative effect on the Kings’ fanbase, who will miss Doughty’s presence at yet another team event Sunday at Staples Center. That, a team can withstand, but when it begins to have an effect on the team itself, that’s when we’ve got real problems; and the way negotiations have been going, they’re flirting with that possibility. As Keith stressed to me earlier tonight, you don’t want to play games with team chemistry, and any sort of holdout from Doughty would do so. Believe me, I want Drew Doughty to re-sign, and I think Drew Doughty will re-sign. But, does he deserve what he and his agents are asking for? How much more will Dean Lombardi‘s stiff reputation on the hockey market withstand the displeasure coming from Doughty’s camp? One of the sides needs to swallow a slice of pride here, and the way this process has been trending, its time for Don Meehan and Drew Doughty to sacrifice a slice of that cake.