NHL Free Agent Defensemen News – September 21, 2011.

Updates on LA Kings defenseman Drew Doughty and UFA blueliner Paul Mara.

LOS ANGELES TIMES: Helene Elliott reports Kings GM Dean Lombardi has no intention of shopping the rights of defenseman Drew Doughty, who remains unsigned as negotiations between his agent and Kings management appear to have stalled. Lombardi said there’s no way he’d trade Doughty’s rights to break the stalemate.

QMI AGENCY (VIA CALGARY SUN): Ryan Pyette reports Doughty is skating with the OHL London Knights, and vows to remain in London until his contract stalemate is resolved.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ve one one suggestion from a blogger that an offer sheet from a rival club would swiftly resolve this situation, but I believe if a team was seriously going to send Doughty an offer sheet, they would’ve done so earlier this summer, when they had more available cap space. At least we can safely ignore any talk of the Kings shopping his rights.

ESPN.COM: Katie Strang reported the NY Rangers and NY Islanders have interest in defenseman Paul Mara, according to his agent, Matt Keator, who also said he’s in talks with other NHL teams, ruling out the possibility of Mara attending a training camp on a tryout basis.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Keator is obviously hoping a team will become desperate enough to offer Mara a contract, rather than a training camp tryout. We’ll find out soon enough if they’ll find what they’re seeking.


  1. Doughty wants to test the UFA market on his first year of eligibility. So a rival team would be pretty desperate to caugh up 4 first rounders for only limited years of his talent.

  2. durt is going down tonight!

  3. Lol! Buff, thanks for the $10 donation. Spending your hard earned money will feel much better then spending mine.

  4. I think the lower cap teams would go for it. The Isles have drafted plenty of good talent, they have a solid core in front, a decent group of d-men, and Nabokov in net for the time being. Getting Doughtey this season would certainly make them playoff contenders.

    It is unlikely to happen, but Lombardi has got to accept the fact that Doughty is a money first guy, winning guy second. I may be stern, but i wouldn’t want a player like that wearing my jersey. He is holding the team hostage like this.

    This is business, but business is also a relationship, not just finances. It does not exactly look like a serious partnership of trust when you are basically asking for a prenup.

    I say don’t make the calls, but accept the calls. See what teams are willing to offer. Doughtey just proved to be a contract headache, a money guy. I say buh bye to that.

  5. I’m unclear on how things work if this goes on for an extended period. Let’s say Doughty holds out for the year and doesn’t play in the NHL. Would his rights still belong to the Kings and he’d still be an RFA next year?

  6. @ Chaas

    Yes, I believe so. The Kings would hold his rights until he’s 25 or so and eligible for unrestricted free agency.

  7. In thinking about Chaas’ question, now I have one. Is there a cut-off date for Doughty to be eligible this season? I believe he has to be on the roster by Christmas to be playoff eligible, or is that just guys playing in Europe. Can somebody clarify?

  8. Doughty has to sign before December 1st or he becomes ineligible for the rest of the season. The Kings retain his negotiation rights.