NHL Free Agents 2011: Los Angeles Kings Close to Deal with Drew Doughty?

The Los Angeles Kings have yet to sign star defenseman Drew Doughty to a new contract, but the two sides appear closer to an agreement.

According to ESPN’s Dan Arritt, Kings general manager Dan Lombardi held a 40 minute discussion with Doughty’s representatives this past Tuesday.

In Arritt’s article, Lombardi spoke about the ongoing talks regarding Doughty’s contract:

“It’s safe to say we’re still having dialogue and we’ll keep trying to move forward,” Lombardi said. “We’re still on track.” 

Doughty, 21, is a restricted free agent, and has yet to receive an offer sheet from another team. Since the new CBA agreement starting in the 2005-06 season, very few teams have made offers to opposing teams’ restricted free agents.

Doughty scored 11 goals with 29 assists for 40 points last season, which was 19 points fewer than he accumulated in 2010.

After Steven Stamkos re-signed with the Tampa Bay Lightning ten days ago, Doughty became the most notable restricted free agent available.

While the Kings are in no real hurry to re-sign the young defenseman, they may be waiting to see how Nashville Predator’s captain and young defenseman Shea Weber’s contract negotiations turn out.

Weber is also a restricted free agent, and has an arbitration hearing set for August 2.

However, Lombardi has said that the outcome of Weber’s hearing will not set the parameter for Doughty’s deal.

Weber, 26, is five years older than Doughty, and is just one season away from becoming an unrestricted free agent.

Kings fans shouldn’t be concerned that their best defenseman has yet to sign. Many top RFAs usually don’t sign right away.

Last year’s notable RFA Bobby Ryan didn’t re-sign with the Anaheim Ducks until mid-September.

About the Author