It’s that awful quiet period of the summer when the free-agent frenzy has long since died down and we’re still weeks away from training camp. However, Kings fans can’t enjoy the lull (really, who enjoys any absence of hockey?) because Doughty has yet to put his signature on a contract. Yet, there’s plenty of speculation to go around. Is Doughty mad at Lombardi? Is Lombardi mad at Doughty? Is Lombardi mad at Meehan? Is Doughty mad at Meehan? Is Meehan- oh, who cares?!
First of all, I doubt anyone is mad at anyone. It’s a contract negotiation and both sides are comprised of adults that understand how the process works. I doubt Lombardi is lowballing Drew, but I’m sure Meehan is trying to squeeze every penny he can out of Lombardi. As for Doughty, Meehan is his agent and he is there to negotiate on Doughty’s behalf. He wouldn’t be in Doughty’s employ if Doughty didn’t trust him.
I can understand the anxiety about getting this deal done soon, but from Lombardi’s perspective there is much less of a rush. Even if this goes on into the season it’s not a huge issue in the long run. The bigger issue is getting it done right rather than getting it done soon. What would you rather have, Doughty for all 82 games this season and have him signed to a 5 year contract, or Doughty for 60 games this season and get him signed to a (reasonable) 9 year contract? Of course you would rather have Doughty locked up long term, so just try to remember that as you hit refresh non-stop on the Kings website this afternoon.
If the Kings don’t get Doughty locked up by the start of the regular season there are plenty of options to step in for him as a placeholder. There is already likely to be tough competition at camp between Martinez (who has the inside track), Muzzin (who impressed in a few games last year), Voynov (who many feel is NHL ready), Deslauriers (who had an impressive year in the “Q”), and Hickey (who started to round his game into form last season). While losing out on Doughty for any number of games is a loss, the Kings defense can survive a short while without him. Maybe something like:
Johnson – Scuderi
Mitchell – Martinez
Greene – Voynov
The Kings also announced that they would be dropping purple as one of their official colors. The Kings are now represented by black, white, and silver, so we can expect a lot more AC/DC at Staples Center this coming season, I’m sure. The Kings former primary Jersey will now be the 3rd. The Kings also have a new away jersey that is essentially the white version of the new home, LA “banner” jersey. The vintage pruple and gold jerseys will make a handful of appearance this coming season at “Legends Night” games. If this blogger had his druthers, it would be #purpleandgold for the Kings, but unfortunately the Kings staff aren’t asking me.
Remember Lombardi’s beef with Steve Tambellini, GM of the Edmonton Oilers? Well you won’t have to hear too much more about it. Apparently the grievance has officially been filed with the league and now it’s up to them to say what’s what. Honestly, I doubt anything happens. If something does, it will be of very little consequence, such as a paltry fine for the Oilers or they’ll have to forfeit a super low draft pick. However, I sort of expect this to be one of those “handled behind closed doors” kind of outcomes.
Kings Hockey Fest will be held on Sunday September 11th, 2011 at Staples Center starting at 9am. I believe it will include a tribute to Garnet “Ace” Bailey and Mark Bavis, former Kings Scouts who passed away in the 9/11 attacks.
As always, Go Kings!
About the Author
Written by Eric Cooney
Eric Cooney was born in Pennsylvania, grew up in North Carolina, and lives in Los Angeles, CA. He shares his thoughts on the NHL as one man who is a northerner, southerner, east coaster, and west coaster. Follow him on Twitter @EricCooney