Sep 17

Will Kings fans forgive Drew Doughty for holding out?

drew_doughtAs you may already know, contract talks between Drew Doughty and the Los Angeles Kings haven’t been going so well. On Thursday, it was reported that Doughty’s camp had rejected the Kings’ “best offer”, a six-to-eight year deal worth $6.8 million annually. With that, Doughty sitting out part or all of training camp began to look more and more like a distinct possibility.

This morning, it became a reality, as Kings training camp opened without Doughty, who remained at home, unsigned.

Plenty has been written about the egos that may be complicating these negotiations, most notably those of Doughty’s agent Don Meehan and Kings GM Dean Lombardi. From Helene Elliott:

Meehan used to represent Kopitar but lost him as a client to Pat Brisson, another powerful agent whose roster includes Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby.

[...] Meehan now wants Doughty, who has enormous talent but has had one good season, one extraordinary season and a bumpy season, to be paid more than Kopitar. That would be a coup for Meehan in recruiting future clients and, some in the industry suggest, an in-your-face to Brisson.

Meanwhile, Rich Hammond reminds us that, in 2002, when Lombardi was GM of the San Jose Sharks, RFA Evgeni Nabokov — represented by Meehan — sat out part of training camp without a contract. Lombardi has said that this situation contributed to him losing the job.

In short, between Meehan and Lombardi, there’s lot of face-saving and face-losing at stake in Doughty’s negotiations.