NHL Trade & Free Agent News – September 16, 2011.

All the latest on Drew Doughty’s contract negotiations (standoff?) with the LA Kings, the Buffalo Sabres could be in the market for a salary dumping trade, and an update on Alexei Yashin.

LOS ANGELES TIMES: Helene Elliott reports defensemen Drew Doughty isn’t expected to be at the opening of Kings training camp today, as his contract negotiations continue with management. Doughty remains at home in Ontario while his agent, Don Meehan, and Kings management remain at odds over a new contract.

LAKINGSINSIDER.COM: Rich Hammond also reported Doughty is not expected to be at training camp when it opens today, as GM Dean Lombardi declined to comment about negotiations or the possibility of Doughty becoming a holdout. By all indications, the Kings aren’t willing to pay Doughty more than $6.8 million per season on a long-term deal. Hammond also pointed out Lombardi has dealt with a previous holdout of a Meehan client before, when goaltender Evgeni Nabokov did so back in 2002, which Lombardi would later attribute as one reason he would lose his job as GM of the San Jose Sharks.

TSN.CA’s Bob McKenzie last night “tweeted” the next 24 hours would be critical in negotiations between the two sides, suggesting things might get perilously close to going off the rails.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: While it’s possible this could still be resolved without dragging throughout pre-season or the start of the season, I must admit things aren’t looking good, and it’s not going to reflect well on Doughty when the Kings are offering up as much as the highest-paid player on the team on  a long-term deal. I understand why the Doughty camp would prefer a shorter term, as it would qualify him sooner for UFA status and the opportunity to cash in big time, but the fans aren’t going to understand holding out for more money on a shorter term. Seven years at $6.8 million is, in my opinion, more than fair, and a holdout won’t endear him to Kings fans who are hoping their team is ready to take the next step toward Cup contention this season. It would be one thing if the Kings were deliberately low-balling him. From what I’ve read, they’re not.

A holdout, especially one which stretches into the season, will only hurt his image, not to mention provide lots of fodder for trade rumors, probably linking him to Toronto or the NY Rangers, because as we all know (warning: sarcasm ahead!), every English-speaking Canadian- born player wants to join the Maple Leafs or Rangers, just like every Quebec-born player yearns to join the Montreal Canadiens.

BUFFALO NEWS: John Vogl reports Sabres management, in the wake of re-signing Tyler Myers to a lucrative, long-term extension, will actively seek trades up to the season-opener on October 7th in order to become cap compliant. They are currently $3.6 million above the salary cap ceiling of $64.3 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No word on which players the Sabres might shop, though the best guess is forward Ales Kotalik ($3 million) and/or defenseman Shaone Morrisonn ($2.075 million).

ESPN.COM‘s Katie Strang reports Alexei Yashin recently said he won’t be attending NY Islanders training camp.


  1. Looks like Yashin is headed back to Russia now after all the summer banter. Seems as if sanity has prevailed yet again.

  2. Schenn officially signs for 5 years @ 3.6 mil. Sorry, don’t mean to hijack the page.

  3. First, I would like to point out that if Doughty was worth $7M per season, wouldn’t he have received an offer sheet by now?

    LAKingsInsider (Hammond) did a poll about the Doughty situation. As of this writing 77.4% (2,019 votes) said that the Kings should not increase there offer to Doughty (one of those votes was mine).

    Nabokov is another great example. He held out and contract talks got contentious. Remind me again, how many cups did Nabokov win? How many Hart and Vezina trophies did he win?

    I think Doughty is in a no win situation. Virtually every other comparable player has signed, and it’s not been close to the money he’s looking for. The fans are clearly backing the Kings, not only in LA but throughout the NHL. The comments from this website go strongly against Dougty, the comments on TSN go about 6 to 1 against Doughty. Doughty is running a fool’s gambit.

  4. I’m with Doughty on this one.

    Sure the Kings are an up-and-coming team and he’s being offered millions per year to play a sport in a great city with an amazing climate, but the traffic there is KILLER.

  5. I have been a Kings fan for over 20 years and I totally support Dean Lombardi and the Kings, Doughty is proving that he is not a team first player, this is the best team they have had in years and they have a real good chance at playing for the Cup. If he wants to hold out because of 2 years and 200k, I say let him sit and enjoy from the sidelines. He is seriously damaging his image for the fans, who by the sounds of it are already turning on him for his greediness. We have plenty of talent in the AHL for someone to take his spot. Doughty will make our team better if he can return to his form from 2 years ago. But I believe that Voynov is more than ready for the NHL and if he performs well. We will not be affected by DD holding out. He alone will not win us a Cup.

  6. Doughty might be worth $7m a season … but not worth $7m a season PLUS four first rounders.

    Unrestricted Free Agents are paid on a different scale from other players because the team gives up cash alone to obtain them. No hockey assets are lost to sign a UFA (well, except cap space). Guys who aren’t UFA are going to get less money, because any other team thinking of signing them has to consider not only the salary cost, but also the hockey assets cost: players in trade, picks in compensation.

    Put it this way, how much would you pay for a guy who’s skills were “worth” $5m a year, if your return on trading for him was that player PLUS a first round pick every year? $7m? $10m? I’d certainly make a different salary offer to a guy who was straight cash than to a guy who cost me first round picks on top of salary.

  7. In addition to the true cost of an offer sheet, it seems Doughty also wants a short contract. No one who is willing to part with four first round picks plus 7mil is going to give him just a three year deal. It’s ludicrous.

  8. There is no comparable to Doughty he will be the best Dman in the league hands down within 2 years.

  9. I love Doughty and hope he returns to the lineup as this is one of the best teams I have ever seen assembled in LALA land. In saying that I completely back DL on this one, Doughty is looking greedy and Meahan is one of the reasons the NHL’s salaries are going to crap. I agree with bigman81 Voynov has been patiently waiting to get his chance and is looking like he’s ready for the NHL, I will go one step further instead of Doughty sitting on the sidelines trade him for a good package that includes and defensemen prospect and a scoring LW for Kopi if Penner doesn’t work out. Or trade him to Florida for Gudbransson and Booth/Weiss and a draft pick, see how he likes missing the playoffs every year for the next ten years.

  10. I understand that Doughty “WAS” a norris trophy contender acouple years back and that he is an up and coming premier talent but how in the hell does he turn down 6.8 per while not having won anything? It makes him look like a greedy player and sure enough the kid is probably receiving bad advise from his handlers, just look at some one like Schenn or myers leaving money in order to prove to the team that they are commited to thier club so in essence not to hog tie their team with cap issues. Hopefully L.A does not cave in to an up and coming premier pre-madonna and finds a way to either trade him and get valuable assets and players or lets him sit at home until he realizes how lucky he is to be playing for a great organization comitted to building a great team for years to come and this coming from a flames fan

  11. As other people has pointed out, drew hasn’t revived an offer sheet because of the draft picks that would be involved. In my opinion, the biggest problem with this situation is the agent! Don is knowen world over as an agent that demands his players sit and weight while he “works his magic”. He is definitely miss leasing drew. And the second biggest problem is the simple fact that both sides are not talking to the media. Everyone is speculating what is happening. Dean, drew and don all said they won’t talk to the media, but dean is bending the rule a little bit. You can read/listen to any interview with dean and he’ll say that he won’t discuss the situation but then he’ll drop a few little “not commenting but you can figure it out” comments to make it look like he is doing everything right and drew is a greedy little punk. Read all the comnents, its working! Until its discussed in the open by both sides we can only take in what crafty little digs dean is droping.

  12. Time for the next CBA to limit increases to these young players coming out of the entry level contracts. Limit the percentage increase they get… these are where the contracts get just ridiculous.

    Some of these young players are asking for way to much money.

    Is Doughty a good player? Absolutely… but it’s coming off he is in it for the money… not for winning.

    He is in a great situation in LA. A team that is on the edge of being very good for a long time… does it appears he does not want that?

  13. How much is enough – $6.5, $6.8, $7.0MM? Seven years at $6.8MM is very generous and I’m sure a lot of D-Men would be thrilled to play in LA (especially with the moves they have made) even if there is a lot of traffic. For $6.8MM a year – Drew can have a driver. Based on the $ that Shenn and Myers have signed for – $6.8MM is even more generous based on the fact that the Kings haven’t made it through the first round in the past two years. Doughty is the future, but he wants it all now. To me, there comes a time when a team makes a committment to you and in return you make one to the team – this is Doughty’s time!

  14. This is bad for the Kings. The fans all ready are going to have a “burn DD jersey party”. I play ice hockey local here in LA and all the players in all leagues and fans are completely hatin on DD. Who ever told DD to use the single most worst agent in NHL history is an idiot. His rep will be ruined Rob Blake style in a heartbeat in LA. I mean look at the Pitcher from the Angels taken less money because he loved to be an Angel, loved the team. There is no TEAM in DD. It would have been resolved all ready if there was a TEAM concept in his Hermosa Beach head of his. Even though his teamates know its a business, I am sure with what DL has done pulling these trades to make our team a cup contender, his teamates are seeing the real DD, and I am sure most would not support this stupid move he is pulling by not signing to make this the best season ever for his teamates, organization and the fans. He blew it, its all ready to late. Let the Booooooo fest begin, IF he ever plays a game this season. Kings brass I don’t think saw this coming from him. His true colors are showing now. Thanks DD! for making our fans proud.

  15. Let’s not start casting stones at Doughty. Maybe he wants a shorter contract at a lower value but they won’t give him the shorter term.

  16. @MJR
    Last thing i read that DD or his agent asking for shorter time and more money. We do have enough talent to step in if DD will sit. Trade him for a good package of players and lets play hockey. If there is a team that will pay him 7+mil a year send him there let him enjoy his millions. Every year from April to September he will have plenty of time to practice his golf swing.

  17. I’d take Kotalik on the Canucks while Raymond is injured – then demote him when Raymond returns (LTIR concerns). Worth the three million if you ask me, Gillis, even if he is a flop.

  18. @Sandy

    I think they should just extend the initial rookie contract to 4 or 5 years, especially when you consider that many players spend one or more years of their rookie contract in the AHL.


    I agree to a certain extent. I’m reading people making opinions on speculation. I haven’t heard much from the Kings or Doughty as to what has been offered. What we did hear from the Kings though I don’t like and can’t side with Doughty. The other thing is that Doughty’s value is pretty much set. When you look at what Jack Johnson, Tyler Myers, and Duncan Keith among others make, you can pretty much see what Doughty is worth. He’s a $5M to $6M guy. This is based on what he has done, not might do.

  19. I am glad to see that Lambo has a salary stucture in mind and he will not budge. Last season, doughty wasnt even better than Johnson. Not to say that he isn’t better, but he didnt play like it.

    Smells like a trade to me. They could earn a Princess’ dowry in return for him.

    Edmonton? NJ? Dare-i-say-it… toronto?

  20. it looks like Lombardi has backed himself into a corner by making public that he won’t pay Doughty more than Kopitar and threatening to lower the offer for every day of training camp that Doughty misses. Lombardi has been preparing for this contract for years and has stated publicly there were opportunities that he turned down to make sure he had Cap space for Doughty’s contract, if he felt he had to trade him Kings fans would never let him forget that he lost the franchise dman every team is looking for.

  21. This league is so rigged towards the owner that the only options to an RFA that doesn’t agree with what’s being handed to him is either holdout (negative consequences ensue) or request a trade (which is at the owner’s discretion). They should remove the FA and just say the player is restricted to either acquiesce or make bad choices. No other enterprise bargaining line of work in North America would accept terms of this nature. It should be UFA or under contract. Period.

    And yes, that whole example of “how many people would dream to do what he does” is completely unrealistic. Sure, if you ask a janitor working at McDonald’s if he’d like to make millions playing sport of course he’d sign. But that example will NEVER materialize and we all know it. The truth is that these guys are playing hockey from when they are a fetus, it’s all they know, for many it’s the only skill they’ve got, and there is absolutely no guarantee how long their career may last. And not everyone is qualified to go into broadcasting or coaching either. They are essentially securing their future until they die. And if they’re asking too much, don’t pay it! The market always sorts out fair market value.

  22. While on the one hand I understand why many think DD is being greedy or a selfish player, I also see his point of view as well. If he see’s that Shea Weber is worth over 7M and thinks he can become that level of player, why sign a long term deal right now? Who know’s, he could be worth 8+M in a few years with the way revenues are rising in this league. It’s one of those cases where both sides have a legitimate case to be made.

  23. I have to side with Doughty on this one. Lombardi has proven over and over that he is a poor GM. He has rarely been able to attract elite talent because he plays hardball with them. People are quick to trash the player for being greedy and the agent for being unrealistic, but here is my take on the situation. There are 29 other GMs in the league who would gladly pay this guy 7+ million a year. Of those 29, easily 20 would not bat an eyelash to make Doughty the highest paid player on their team and the highest paid defenseman in the NHL. The same cannot be said of Anze Kopitar. What stands out for me is that Kopitar signed his deal 3 years ago when the NHL salary cap was $56.7 mil. Since that time the cap has increased to 64.3 mil, an increase of $7.6 mil. As the cap increases the value of an elite talent increases with it. So even if the Kings believe Doughty is equal to Kopitar a contract for an elite talent is worth more today than it was in 2008. Yes many teams would love to have Kopitar but they would not make him the highest paid player or even consider him a “franchise” player. Don Meehan knows this and I am sure Drew Doughty is drinking the same Kool-aid. Time will tell but my gut tells me that in 20 years Drew Doughty will be in the Hall of Fame while Anze Kopitar will be a forgotten name.

  24. I think Doughty is a great player but somehow the advice he is being given appears not to be in his best interests. While I understand what Doughty wants and why, I truly believe that he’s put himself in an bad spot. Personally, I’d say take the $6.8 for a year or two or until you reach the right UFA age and then let the open market dictate your worth. I mean fighting over 200k in your world is like the average Joe fighting over a $.25cent an hour raise. Please, just shaddup and play hockey would ya

  25. Let’s look at some 7m Dmen
    Chara-Captain, Norris trophy, Stanley Cup
    Lidstrom-Enough Said
    Weber-Captain, Norris candidate, lead his team to the 2nd round for the first time.
    Doughty-Not captain, Norris candidate 2 years ago, 2nd highest Dman points on team, never out of the first round, but a gold medal ON TEAM CANADA!

    Now Ehrhoff’s contract was just stupid and everyone knows that, I would say Doughty is most comparable to Keith Yandle who last year got 59pts and was +12 although 3 years older, he plays for Phoenix so….
    Doughty had 40pts was a +13 on a favored LA squad