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Saturday September 17, 2011 7:48 am

Drew Doughty, Los Angeles Kings can’t reach deal before training camp

Posted by Adrien Griffin Categories: Athletes, NHL,

Drew DoughtyNHL training camps opened up on Friday, with hundreds of players across the league reporting in for physicals. Most of the time, this isn’t news, other than the obvious heralding of a new NHL season underway, but the situation with the Los Angeles Kings’ inability to sign restricted free agent defenseman Drew Doughty has reached a boiling point.

Doughty is reportedly holding out because he wants a contract worth more than teammate Anze Kopitar, who will make $6.8 million this season. It’s also been reported that he’s received an offer of equal value, but that may not be the case much longer. GM Dean Lombardi said on Friday that for every day of training camp that Doughty misses, Lombardi will subtract $25,000 from the contract offer. That equates to less than a half of a percent per day of what the actual contract is worth.

This isn’t entirely unjustified. Thanks to the current CBA, players are paid for training camp, so there’s no reason that Doughty should be allowed to stay home in London, Ontario and be “paid” for his time if he does eventually accept the deal. But still, Doughty’s only played three full seasons in the NHL. It’s hard to justify being a 21-year-old holding out to be paid like he’s in his prime years.

Seriously though, the Kings and Doughty need to get this situation resolved. The season is fast-approaching, and Los Angeles has some high expectations this seasons. They’ll need Doughty on the blue line doing what he does best. Whether Lombardi’s threat was real or not, or whether he will cave and offer more money is irrelevant. Doughty is merely coming off as a selfish 21-year-old while the Kings look like greedy suits. To avoid hearing the boos any time he steps on the ice, Doughty needs closure, and the sooner, the better.



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