NHL Trade and Free Agent Rumors – September 27, 2011.

In today’s roundup of MSM-reported rumor news goodness: The Kings won’t blink in their contract stare-down with holdout defenseman Drew Doughty…The Florida Panthers might needs an experienced backup…Rangers could wait until after their European tour to make decision on replacement defensemen…The possibility of the Rangers waiving Sean Avery…Sabres send Kotalik and Morrisonn to the minors.

LOS ANGELES TIMES: Helene Elliott reports Kings team president Tim Leiweke said the team intends to spend up to the salary cap this season, but added they need room to potentially bolster their roster later in the season or maneuver through injuries, which they can’t do if they pay Drew Doughty the $7 million-plus he’s reportedly seeking in a new contract from the club. The Kings have offered Doughty a multi-year deal worth $6.8 million per season. Leiweke also suggested if the club were to bend and give Doughty what he seeks, the extra would be coming out of one of their free agents next season. He also pleaded with Doughty to return to the club, saying he didn’t want to see these negotiations destroy the relationship between the defenseman and the team.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Looks like the Kings aren’t bending, at least for now. So the puck in in Doughty’s end. Looks like this could drag into the start of the regular season. No, I don’t believe another team will send Doughty an offer sheet, since the clubs which have available cap space are those which traditionally stick close to the cap floor, while the traditional free spenders are tapped out.

MIAMI HERALD: George Richards reports Panthers goalie Scott Clemmensen had minor knee surgery on Monday, which could sideline him for the first few games of the season. This opens the door of opportunity for Jacob Markstrom or Tyler Plante to become the interim backup, but Richards also suggested if management believe Clemmensen could miss more time, they might shop for an experienced backup.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: For the time being, I think they’ll go with either Plante or Markstrom in the backup role and see how well they do.

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports Rangers GM Glen Sather is optimistic over the recovery from post-concussion symptoms defenseman Marc Staal. Brooks also reported, however, Michael Sauer is out for seven days with a sprained right shoulder suffered during last night’s Flyers-Rangers game. Head coach John Tortorella meanwhile suggested they’ll see how the blueline performs during their upcoming season-opening trip to Europe. Brooks noted the Rangers lost out on signing free agent blueliner Chris Campoli to the Montreal Canadiens,and while they’ve talked to former Ranger Paul Mara, Brooks believes if they were truly interested in Mara, they would’ve signed him by now.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Looks like they’ve got little choice but to play “wait and see” for the next week or two.

NEW YORK TIMES: Christopher Botta speculated on the possibility the Rangers could demote Sean Avery if he fails to pick up his performance over the club’s final preseason games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wouldn’t be the first time the Rangers have buried a high-salaried underachiever in the minors (hello, Wade Redden).

THE BUFFALO NEWS: Mike Harrington reports the Sabres have demoted Ales Kotalik and Shaone Morrisonn to the minors after failing to find any takers in the trade market.

SPECTOR`S NOTE: No surprise there, and burying their combined $5.075 million in the minors puts them comfortably under the salary cap to start the season.


  1. I can’t see the Doughty contract saga going on too much longer without a trade. It is obviouls both sides are not budging.

    Obviously, 29 teams would be interested, but teams with cap space AND youth/package to acquire him are likely: Edm, NYI, TB, Ott, Wpg, Fla.

  2. I can; it’s happened before. Once contracts are signed, these things are often forgotten. Sometimes they’re not, but that won’t be the case with Doughty. Before long, the Kings will bend and sign him to a three year deal worth 20 million or something such.

  3. Nik,
    Someone should show your post to Doughty.

    He can either sign with the team that has a legitimate chance at making a deep playoff run, or he can get traded to Edm, NYI, TB, Ott, Wpg or Fla. With the exception of TB, all of those teams are going to have to give up a large amount of their re-building talent which is going to set their re-build back at least a year, but probably more.

    But, since I am thinking of changing careers to become an internet hockey blogger:

    Several insider sources have told me that Lombardi has given up on signing Doughty and Steve Y is through with coddeling Vinnie. The deal, Lecavalier for Doughty, is all but signed and they are just waiting for… oh I don’t know, a blue truck to drive by, so they can finally announce it.

    What do you think guys? Should I fire up my website?

  4. Does anybody know if it would be a violation of the CBA to sign a player to a 1 year deal and then immediately sign him to a long term extension (all in one move)?

    If the Kings are concerned about salary cap space they could sign Doughty to a one year deal for say $5M. That would count against the cap this year. Then they could immediately sign him to a X year for $Y billion dollars. That contract would not count against the cap until next season.

  5. If and a big if the Kings move Drew you need a team who can handle his salary and has prospects. Drew is only one player he is not God so I would offer a player, prospect , and maybe a pick. Remember if L.A wants to win now they may want 2-players that can play now.

  6. I think what we’re looking at with Doughty is bigger than just one guy signing. The agents and NHLPA want Doughty to sign for as much as possible. He will be the new standard for defensemen.

    Everybody will be pointing to Doughty’s contract for at least a decade. “Doughty is the best defenseman in the league and he only makes X, so how can you expect to make the amount your asking for?” Or, on the reverse, “Doughty makes X, and my guy is as good as Doughty so he should make X.”

  7. You know $6.8MM is a pretty good life and all Doughty has shown me is that he is not a team player. If he really wanted to play for the Kings, he would have given them a hometown discount. $6.8MM a year puts him in the Top 10 highest paid D-Men and he is the youngest – meaning the others are all over 25. Some say he is the best D-Man around, I don’t know, but the Salary and term makes him one of the “Top 10″.

    On the other hand, what has Doughty done to prove he wants to stay with the Kings…..hummmmm, He’s working out with the London Knights in Ontario. Has he offered the Kings a home town discount? The Kings have offered to pay Doughty on par with their highest paid player and they have offered him a multi-year contract. Again, $6.8MM is not too shabby in this economy and having job security for 6-8 years is also not too shabby. But, where is Doughty’s respect for his teammates, club and fans?

    If he signs something soon – we’ll all chalk it up to his being only 21 years old and part of his maturing process. If not – then we’ll look at it as him being a “spoiled brat”. Remember Peca sat out a year – a year when he was at his prime and he never really was the same after that year.

  8. Too late, cowtown. That website exists already. I won’t name names, though :)

  9. @JDBGiGC

    Teams can negociate extensions with players one year contracts,starting January 1st.

  10. Why can’t the Kings do what NJ did with Paris?. Sign him to a 1 yr deal now.. and then negotiate the longer term contract later.

    At least that would get him into the lineup.

  11. MJR I completely agree. This holdout will soon be forgotten. And people have to realize that Doughty won’t budge on term not dollar amount…from what I’ve heard anyway. He wants to hit free agency asap, so I’m sure the difference between 6.8-7 and change isn’t enough to stage a holdout. The Kings want him long term, hence the stand off.

  12. I wonder if Dallas makes a pitch for him if Doughty’s still holding out when the sale of the Stars is finally complete? Not that the Kings would be willing to accept just anything, but a package that’s just right might tempt them.

  13. Gross situation going on here with Doughty. Kings have made a fair offer, said all the right things in the media, etc. Doughty on the other hand has not, and by holding out and not attending camp says a lot about his character.
    With or without this guy the Kings still have a very good team to make a nice playoff run this year, and if they do go real far, Doughty will be knocking on the Kings door asking about that 6.8 million offer.

  14. Lombardi should be fired over this debacle.

  15. I’ve lost respect for Doughty. He’s a great defensivemen, but he’s still young and his numbers haven’t proven that he is elite. 6.8M is already a lot for a 21 year old and for just 5-6 year deal he’ll be at his prime at 26 years old. He could even have a higher salary and test the free agency then. He’s kinda on par with Niedermayer stats but not Lidstrom stats. That’s a big difference!!! Even though both are really great and may end up in the Hall of Fame. Doughty hasn’t won a Norris or even nominated….correct me if I am wrong…I don’t think he was nominated and he hasn’t been the top points leader for a defensemen like Visnovsky and Green. Doughty don’t be a brat and sign…you’re loosing money when you don’t practice with the kings and you’re loosing fans unless you want to play for OHL London Knights instead of the NHL with LA or anyone else

  16. Doughty is not going anywhere unless talks completely deadlock AND LA is on the bubble by the trade deadline AND they think that they can move him for some immediate quality help. LA’s time is now, and prospects and/or picks won’t get them over the hump in the playoffs. As for trading Doughty, Edmonton burned LA in both the Smyth and Penner trades and Lombardi won’t talk to them for a year or two and most of the other rebuilding teams would either not have the money to sign Doughty or would set Doughty back 3-5 years in his Cup quest.

  17. Yup. I would dump Lombardi and their awful coach, especially after they under-achieve again this year.
    All he had to do was sign to the 5 year that Doughty wanted and then use that time to convince him to re-sign.

  18. @Doughtyfan: he was nominated.

    Also, why does his age matter? A contract is not a long-time service award, it’s a marketplace transaction.

  19. Why are so many calling for Lombardi’s head lately? I mean the guy only turned the Kings from the laughing stock of the NHL to a perennial playoff team. Most fans would applaud his efforts. Of course I’m a hypocrite because I still think Sather should be fired out of New York (preferably by cannon into the sun) for the prima dona crap he brought in through the late 90’s. But if he learned from those mistakes and the Rangers become a perennial contender, I can probably forgive him.

    It just doesn’t make sense to me. There are two sides to this thing, and Lombardi takes orders too. Don’t take the smooth-talking Kings Governor at his word, Lombardi was likely given a range of years and dollars to work with. Quite frankly he’s doing everything in his power to keep Doughty on the roster, but from the sounds of it the problem is the agent. Let’s not forget this is the same agent who convinced others to stage holdouts (one even against Lombardi in Calgary if memory serves). Perhaps it’s not the player or the team at fault here.

    It’s really easy to point fingers and place blame. But since everything’s happening behind closed doors (which is the way it should be), then we have only to assume that 1/3 of the blame goes to the player, 1/3 of the blame goes to the team, and 1/3 of the blame goes to the agent. Now if they could all just show a little maturity, because this isn’t a fifth grade playground it’s the NHL, maybe we could all get through this situation and play some hockey.

  20. Wow. I actually read the article and Leiweke is really undermining Doughty’s agent. Interesting tactic.

    And somebody above asked why they haven’t fired Lombardi. A poll was taken on LAKingsInsider and an overwhelming majority of Kings’ fans support Lombardi and the Kings.

    I also agree that nobody will remember this in April when the lights go out and ‘Back in Black’ starts playing at the Staples Center.

  21. Is Sean Avery playing poorly, or is he just being outplayed by younger players on the Rags?

  22. never thought I’d see the day that Buffalo would be able to spend to the cap and afford almost $6 million of NHL salary playing in the minors with Kotalik and Morrison sent down. New ownership in Buffalo is bad news for Montreal, Toronto, and Boston.

  23. the Rangers weakness would appear to be on defense despite the good fortune that brought Erixon (reused to sign with Calgary and Feaster was forced to trade or lose him to re-entry in the draft) and McDonagh (part of the heist that Sather engineered to get rid of Gomez ) their way. Staal and Del Zotto were first rounders that worked out but beyond them you’d have to say the journeymen they’ve got don’t scare anyone, maybe Sather makes a trade but he doesn’t have much Cap room unless he demotes Avery or trades Wolski.