Drew Doughty’s absence from yesterday’s Kings “fan fest” raises more questions on the status of his contract negotiations as training camp approaches.
LOS ANGELES TIMES: Helene Elliott reports Kings defenseman Drew Doughty missed the club’s “fan fest” on Sunday. GM Dean Lombardi will meet with team ownership to discuss how far the club will go to re-sign the 21-year-old blueliner. In an interview, Lombardi suggested the stumbling blocks in talks were amount and length of the deal, adding the two sides haven’t reached the stage of discussing trade or movement clauses. Elliott also noted Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos recent tweet of the Doughty camp rejecting a nine-year offer worth over $61 million, but pointed out it’s believed that offer was made early in negotiations and the two sides have since moved on to shorter options.
LOS ANGELES DAILY NEWS: J.P. Hoornstra also reported on the Kings lack of progress in negotiations with Doughty, noting Lombardi said the blueliner will be with the team “for a long time”. Teammates Dustin Brown, Anze Kopitar and Jonathan Quick have been in touch with Doughty and believe his contract talks will be worked out.
LA KINGS INSIDER: Rich Hammond also noted the recent Kypreos tweet, adding that offer was made two months ago, not recently. Lombardi said he’d spoken with Doughty’s representatives three times last week, and still hopes the blueliner will be ready for training camp when it opens on Friday.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s obvious talks are ongoing and both sides are discussing shorter term. Lombardi has earlier suggested he’d be willing to make Doughty the highest paid player on the team. No indication at all the Kings have reached the stage where they’ll consider shopping Doughty, nor do I expect they’ll reach that point. Expect this story to receive more attention the closer we get to week’s end.