Visit to Ottawa spurs draft-day memories for Kings' Drew Doughty

Visit to Ottawa spurs draft-day memories for Kings' Drew Doughty
Kings defenseman Drew Doughty controls the puck during a game against the Nashville Predators on Nov. 25. (Mark Humphrey / Associated Press)

There was a time before the two Olympic gold medals and the two Stanley Cup championships that defenseman Drew Doughty was merely a nervous teenager sitting in the stands with his parents.

What he has accomplished in the six-plus years since the Kings drafted him second overall in 2008 is nothing short of incredible. And it all started here in Ottawa, the host city for that draft.

"I was pretty nervous because I really wanted to be drafted by the L.A. Kings," Doughty said Wednesday after practice. "I knew there was good possibility I was going to get drafted to them. Third pick was Atlanta. If I didn't go to L.A., I was going there. Obviously you'd rather be in L.A. than Atlanta."

Doughty might be shoveling some serious snow if that had happened since the Atlanta Thrashers eventually relocated to Winnipeg and became the Jets.


Back then, Doughty to Los Angeles was no sure thing. The Kings rejected three offers to trade the pick and another one in the final 24 hours before the draft. Then Doughty spotted Kings General Manager Dean Lombardi on the draft floor shaking hands with Darryl Sutter, who was Calgary's GM at the time.


Doughty started worrying he was on his way to Calgary.

"I was losing it," Doughty told The Times at the draft in 2008. "I was a little worried. I looked at my parents and kind of buried my face in my hands. They were a little worried because they knew how bad I wanted to come here."

It turned out Lombardi and Sutter were closing a three-team deal involving Michael Cammalleri. And so, it took a little bit longer for Doughty to end up with Sutter, who took over as Kings coach in 2011.

Naturally, Lombardi did his exhaustive diligence before drafting the defenseman. Doughty recalled they might have met as many as eight times.

Not only was Doughty on edge, but also he didn't know what to think of then-Kings assistant GM Ron Hextall, who is now the Flyers' GM.

"I could tell they were really digging deep to make sure they found the right piece," Doughty said Wednesday. "At that time, I thought I could possibly be the right piece and I think it's worked out pretty well. All those meetings were worth it.

"[Lombardi] threw out some weird things at me. I was young then, so I was definitely lost all the time. I was pretty intimidated by him, intimidated by Hexy. [Hextall] didn't say much in the meetings. He just kind of stood there and stared at me. I was intimidated by that."

The defending Stanley Cup champions haven't been as intimidating as of late, particularly because of their scoring woes. They've scored once over their last two games and the once high-scoring forwards are struggling in a major way.

"This lull is going to end and they're just going to take off. There's no doubt about that," Doughty said. "They know themselves they're not producing to the amount they want to produce. They're going to turn it around, get that 20 points in 10 games."



When: 4:30 PST.

On the air: TV: FS West; Radio: 790.

Etc.: Wednesday was going to be the day the Kings brought the Stanley Cup to Parliament Hill in Ottawa. But those plans were called off out of respect to hockey legend Jean Beliveau, whose funeral was in Montreal on Wednesday. Hall of Famer Luc Robitaille, the Kings' president of business operations, represented the organization at the services.

Twitter: @reallisa