Latest on the Kings, Capitals, Predators & Senators.

The Kings are playing a risky game with Drew Doughty, Capitals defenseman Tom Poti fails his medical, Predators defenseman Ryan Suter avoids free agency talk, and Senators blueliner Filip Kuba might become a candidate for a trade deadline deal.

LOS ANGELES TIMES/TORONTO SUN: Helene Elliott and Steve Simmons offered up differing opinions of the current standoff between defenseman Drew Doughty and Kings management. Elliott suggested Doughty is hurting his conditioning and preparation for the upcoming season, but also suggested the Kings management may be hurting the team by trying to score points at the negotiating table, rather than having Doughty scoring points on the ice for the Kings. Simmons, meanwhile, was more blunt, criticizing GM Dean Lombardi for his “pettiness” by threatening to penalize the defenseman for each day he’s absent, and potentially poisoning Doughty’s relationship with the team.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It takes two to tango here, and while I agree with Simmons’ take that penalizing Doughty for each day he misses is petty, Lombardi has made a very generous offer, and while I also understand Doughty’s desire for a shorter term to qualify sooner for free agency, he also has to take into consideration the team. At some point, Doughty has to consider if he’s really interested in making the Kings a Cup contender, or if it’s more important for him to be the highest paid Kings on a five year contract. I’m all for players getting the best deal they can, but I also believe they need to balance that with being a team player. I do expect at some point this will be resolved and Doughty will return to the Kings, but I also feel this has the potential to jeopardize his long-term future with the club.

WASHINGTON POST: Katie Carrera reports Capitals defenseman Tom Poti has failed his team medical, which will result in his being placed on long-term injury reserve, providing the club relief under the salary cap.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, forget those silly trade rumors claiming the Capitals will shop Alexander Semin to get under the salary cap.

THE TENNESSEAN: Josh Cooper reports Nashville Predators defenseman Ryan Suter declined to discuss his eligibility for UFA status next summer, other than to say he’s not concerned about it, believes things will be worked out, and hopes to remain with the Predators.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I believe the Predators will get Suter re-signed. Weber, on the other hand, is another matter, one I’m less certain about.

OTTAWA SUN: Don Brennan reports on the efforts of Senators defenseman Filip Kuba to improve his conditioning, avoid injury and try to return to form this season. Brennand did suggest Kuba could be a candidate to be dealt at the trade deadline in February, believing it “unimaginable” management would re-sign him after this season. GM Bryan Murray is believed to have tried to shop Kuba earlier this year, but given his injury history, decline in production and remaining salary ($3.7 million), couldn’t find any takers.


  1. Wanting to be the highest paid player on the team says how much he is interested in the team. I feel bad for the LA organization, because no one wants to dump such skill and potential, but that attitude is hard to want to keep around.

  2. It seems that Lombardi has had more than his share of contractual difficulties with players wanting out of his organization. I’d suggest that perhaps there’s more here than the cliche of a greedy player wanting more money.

  3. I would like to see don meehan retire :)

  4. It has nothing to do with DL. But a lot to do with an agents. It’s dumb luck that he has to deal with Meehan most of the time. Agents are the biggest problem. They out there only to help theme self. The bigger contract they will be able to get the bigger there paycheck will be. In DD situatian…6.8mil. a year it’s more than enough. He is being offered the money he has nod deserve yet.

  5. I’m not so certain that Suter will re-sign with the Preds, 50/50 at this point, IMO. Like Weber, Suter is being diplomatic about the matter, but unless Poile gets off his duff and upgrades the offense on the team, he’s giving no impetus for either player to want to commit to the team long term. Poile is once again hoping against hope that one of his prospects will blossom into a stud scorer, but this plan has failed him much more often than not.

  6. Penalizing Doughty for not being at camp is anything but petty. If you don’t show up for a real job there are penalties to pay, either a reprimand or termination. While Doughty is a very good player he has yet to really prove himself and win the Big One in the NHL. Quite possibly Don Meehan is the problem here and should be canned.

  7. like Grizzledbear says Poile sealed his teams fate when he gave away Lombardi and Franson to Toronto. why would Weber (or Suter for that matter) want to stay and be subjected to futility year after year when the team dumps salaries and/or doesn’t resign it’s key free agents (Ward, Sullivan). kudos to Trotz for keeping the Preds competitive but how can anyone be expected to breakout offensively under his conservative defensive system, the way things are now if any of the big 3 (Weber, Suter, and Rinne) get hurt for any length of time then Nashville won’t make the playoffs.

  8. Poti’s status may stop the Semin trade rumors but it’s doubtful he’s there beyond this year, his Cap hit for such a one dimensional me first player is outrageous … guys like him are the biggest reason why Washington has underacheived thus far.

  9. Generous offer is one thing, but arbitraily setting a cap on his offer compared to Kopitar’s says Doughty isn’t as important to the organization, when in all honesty he’s way more. Now penalizing him for days missed is beyond stupid, you’re just pissing off a guy you’ve already slapped in the face. I wish now someone had had the balls to give Doughty an offer sheet he deserved this summer.

  10. Long-term deals are great for veterans but any kid who signs one is … well, stupid. There, I said it. I think it takes a lot of courage for Drew to face this down because of course he is going to be labelled selfish and not a team player when the truth is he is a mere boy who has no idea what life is going to bring in the next year, let alone five years, and does not want to be committed to a situation that gives him less choice. Oh, boo hoo. The Kings drafted Drew so he should be forever beholden to them. He’s not pulling a Lindros here. The Kings are asking too much and acting like spoiled brats because the player stood up to them. I don’t care what the dollar figures are and I doubt Drew is counting it by the ten or hundred thousands.

  11. With all due respect, I do not understand the point of view that Lombardi is being petty by penalizing Doughty. If a player is signed to complete 275 days of work then Lombardi is completely justified. The kings are by no means a budget team, but every dollar does count. Why should they pay Doughty 25000 per day that he chooses to be above the team? Depending on how many days he misses that could add up to a staggering amount of money wasted. I think Lombardi was bold, but not petty.

  12. Let’s be fair to the kings here….they drafted him and it he wants out…just say so, sign a short deal for less money, or suck it up! The guy is 20? And he will be making more then most do in a lifetime on his next contract. I say boo hoo Doughty. I agree players should be able to play where they want to, but first you got to earn it…when he is 25 he will get his chance! I’m sure its really hard living in LA making millions playing the best game on the planet!

  13. Doughty BEWARE of long term contracts. May I refer you to Jeff Carter. We want you to be with the team for ever! Then right before your no trade clause kicks in the ship you to a loser. Stick to your guns! You have to look out for yourself!! GM’s are SCUM!!