Drew Doughty and the Los Angeles Kings agree on a 8-year, $56 million deal
The Drew Doughty saga with the Los Angeles Kings is finally over. In a long drawn out process, Doughty agreed to an 8-year deal worth $56 million. Doughty will have annual cap hit of $7 million a year. Both parties were satisfied with the deal. The King’s Organization appears to have caved a little bit on the annual salary to get the deal done, Doughty also caved on his side. Doughty was looking for more of short term deal, but agreed to a longer term deal when he knew he was getting the dollar amount he wanted. Both parties knew a deal needed to get done before the start of the season. The Kings wanted a long term committed from Doughty and Doughty wanted to be paid like a top tier defenseman in the league.
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General Manager of the Kings, Dean Lombardi, was very public and adamant that he was not going pay Doughty more than $6.8 million a year. That figure was equal to the annual salary of star center Anze Kopitar’s contract. Doughty’s contract will make him the third highest paid defensemen in the league. At the age of 21, is Doughty ready to take on the responsibility and pressure of being paid to be a franchise player?
Doughty is excited that a deal is finally done. Doughty told LAKingInsider.com, “I missed the boys a lot, and missed being in L.A., and this just felt like time to get it done and I’m really happy and excited.” The agreement between the parties ends a roller coaster ride for the team and Doughty. Doughty had earlier in the process rejected a 7-year deal worth about $6.8 million a year. Doughty has missed all of training camp and the team’s five preseason games. He will fly to L.A. for his physical and look to join the team for their opener in Europe. The one thing the team has to be weary of is injury. Since Doughty has not skated that much with the team he may be rusty and prone to injury. But he has trained in the gym hard and feels he could skate on Saturday if the team wanted him to.
Doughty was drafted in 2008 by the Kings with the second overall pick. The Kings has a solid core of young players with Doughty, Kopitar, and Jack Johnson. Doughty’s contract has brought to an end the Kings spending spree in the summer. Along with Doughty, the Kings signed Simon Gagne for $7 million over two years, and taking on Mike Richards contract in a trade worth $51.4 million. This team has potential to do damage in the playoffs and a chance to win the cup.
After the deal was complete Tim Leiweke, chief executive of AEG, Kings parent company said, “Let’s go win some Cups. We just spent more money this offseason than it cost to buy the team. We are committed.” They better be committed because in a world of what have you done for me lately, the Kings have been eliminated in the first round of the playoffs the last two seasons. The Kings are loaded with young talent and Doughty is one of the centerpieces of the team. Doughty hopes he can lead the team to a Stanley Cup down the road.
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