Kings and Ducks restock
OTTAWA -- Teenage cool turned to teen angst when defenseman Drew Doughty spotted Kings’ General Manager Dean Lombardi shaking hands with his counterpart Darryl Sutter of the Calgary Flames shortly before Friday’s NHL entry draft.
A last-minute move to Calgary, instead of Los Angeles, was not in the plans of the 18-year-old Doughty, who grew up a Kings fan and has kid-sized jerseys of Wayne Gretzky and Kelly Hrudey in his bedroom.
“I was losing it,” Doughty said. “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.”
Anxiety evaporated when the Kings, who had rejected three recent offers to trade the pick, and a fourth in the last 24 hours, kept with the plan and took him at No. 2 overall, following the consensus No. 1, forward Steven Stamkos, who went to Tampa Bay.
Doughty, who was named after Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Drew Pearson, played three seasons in the Ontario Hockey League with the Guelph Storm and scored 50 points in 58 games last season and didn’t hesitate when asked if he was ready for the NHL now, saying, “Yes, I think I am.”
For his part, Lombardi was asked if he expected the dynamic Doughty would be in the Kings’ season-opening lineup in October. “Expect? No,” Lombardi said. “Does he have a chance? Yes.”
What transpired between Lombardi and Sutter ended up turning into a three-way deal with the Kings trading underachieving winger Michael Cammalleri to the Flames in a transaction that saw them exchange first-round draft picks with the Ducks.
Lombardi said that the Vancouver Canucks and Edmonton Oilers also were in the hunt for Cammalleri.
The Kings took the Ducks’ pick, at No. 12, and the Ducks got the Kings’ pick at No. 17 as well as the Flames’ selection at No. 28 to complete the deal.
Next, the Kings flipped picks with Buffalo and dropped to 13, getting a third-round selection from the Sabres in next year’s draft. They used it to grab menacing defenseman Colten Teubert of Regina of the Western Hockey League.
“His toughness is Bogosian level,” Lombardi said, speaking of Zach Bogosian, who went third to Atlanta.
“He’s a leader and has an incredible presence. You want to build a culture? An old-school player. I thought it was a huge piece for us.
“We paid a big price. I think it’s something we desperately needed. You add those two guys to the mix today. It’s a huge step.”
The Ducks selected smooth-skating defenseman Jake Gardiner from Minnetonka (Minn.) High, who will play college hockey at Wisconsin, and then traded the 28th pick to Phoenix for two high selections in today’s second round.
Said Ducks General Manager Brian Burke: “The thing that leaps out at you when you watch him is he can really skate . . . He can fly.”
His ability brings forth a comparison to a certain Ducks defenseman.
“It’d be sweet to play with Scott Niedermayer,” said Gardiner, the only prep player taken in the first round. “It’d be unreal.”
Earlier, the Kings closed the door on the past as it put troubled goaltender Dan Cloutier on waivers, the first step toward securing a buyout, a salary cap hit of $1.03 million in each of the next two seasons.
That was expected. So was a deal to move Cammalleri after he and Lombardi had a contentious contract negotiation last summer that resulted in Cammalleri’s losing to the team in salary arbitration.
“There were a lot of rumors, so I was a little more tuned in on the draft than usual,” said the 26-year-old Cammalleri, who had 19 goals and 47 points in an injury-plagued season after registering a career-high 34 goals and 80 points in 2006-07. “Last year was a tough year.”
He told a Calgary reporter about learning of the news when watching the draft on TV. “They said, ‘We have a trade to announce,’ ” Cammalleri said. “Then when they did, it was like, ‘Hey I know that guy.’ ”
Said Lombardi: “He was almost becoming a one-year asset for us . . . He was the only young player I talked about at the trade deadline this year. Wasn’t getting a lot of action, but then again, he had a rough year in the second part.
“I expect him to bounce back. But the kind of money he was asking for, I don’t see how that works for us.”
Stephens reported from Los Angeles.