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Willie Mitchell, Drew Doughty a pair of eights who could be aces

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Defenseman Willie Mitchell, who signed a two-year, $7-million contract with the Kings as a free agent, said the prospect of playing for an up-and-coming team factored heavily into his decision to choose the Kings over three other suitors -- reportedly San Jose, Washington and Vancouver.

He also said the notion of playing alongside Norris trophy runnerup Drew Doughty was ‘intriguing,’ and his high regard for Doughty was reinforced when they met recently in Los Angeles.

‘I wore No. 8 in Vancouver. The first day he came in he was like, ‘Willie you can take my number,’ and I think that just speaks volumes of him as a kid,’ Mitchell said.

He declined Doughty’s generous offer. ‘I said, ‘No, you had too good of a year last year. You’ve got to keep rocking that thing,’ ' Mitchell said, laughing.

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‘I think that speaks volumes of him. We were on the ice together the other day as a pair. It was fun seeing what he can do, how he reads and feels the game. I look forward to having a chance to play with him.’

More from the Kings’ Hockey Fest later.

-- Helene Elliott


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