Drew Doughty apparently waiting for Kings to make the next move
It’s apparently up to the Kings to end the long lull in talks on a new contract for restricted free agent defenseman Drew Doughty.
Don Meehan, who teams with Mark Guy in representing Doughty, said Tuesday he hadn’t spoken to the Kings about Doughty since June 23. Meehan said he assumed the Kings were focusing on their trade for Mike Richards and (ultimately futile) pursuit of free agent Brad Richards, but those deals are long done.
It’s believed the Kings are offering up to nine years at more than $6.5 million per year.
“I think he’d be happy to stay if we agree upon terms that are acceptable to him,” Meehan said. “And those are our instructions, to negotiate with L.A. on that basis to secure something that he’d be happy with.”
Kings General Manager Dean Lombardi said the sides haven’t agreed on term or money. “They both kind of work hand in hand,” he said.
There’s no salary comparison for Doughty, who struggled at times last season but has franchise-player talent. Doughty and Tampa Bay forward Steven Stamkos, chosen second and first, respectively, in the 2008 entry draft, could create a new tier behind the league-high cap hits of Washington’s Alexander Ovechkin ($9.538 million) and Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin ($8.7 million each). Another gauge will be the deal between the Nashville Predators and Norris Trophy finalist Shea Weber, who have an Aug. 2 salary arbitration hearing.
“I know how important Drew Doughty is to the Los Angeles Kings on a going-forward basis,” Meehan said. “I think that’s something that they’re very well aware of and they know what they have to do. And I’m sure at the appropriate time we’ll all get together and have further discussions.”
Another Meehan-Guy client on the Kings, energetic forward Brad Richardson, avoided arbitration by re-signing for two years and $2.35 million. Richardson, who had seven goals and 19 points in 68 games while earning $900,000 last season, will earn $1 million in 2011-12 and $1.35 million in 2012-13, a cap hit of $1.175 million.
NHL general counsel David Zimmerman is mediating the dispute between the Kings and Edmonton Oilers over Colin Fraser, who was traded to the Kings for Ryan Smyth. The Kings contend the Oilers misrepresented the extent and nature of Fraser’s injuries.
“At this point, we are only helping to see if a mutually satisfactory resolution can be agreed to as between the parties,” NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said via email.
Should a formal complaint be filed, it would be heard and ruled on by Commissioner Gary Bettman.
Lombardi said he’s looking for “something that’s fair. And it shouldn’t be that hard, given what obviously we understood.”
Ducks acquire two
The Ducks acquired the rights to restricted free-agent center Andrew Cogliano from Edmonton for a second-round draft pick in 2013. Cogliano, 24, had 11 goals and 35 points in 82 games last season and should bring speed and depth following the retirement of Todd Marchant. “I feel like I can contribute now at both ends of the rink and that’s my goal,” said Cogliano, who’s scheduled for an arbitration hearing July 21 but said he hopes to sign before then.
The Ducks also signed goaltender Jeff Deslauriers to a two-year contract. Another former Oiler, he spent last season with Oklahoma City of the American Hockey League, where he was 17-13-4 with a 2.81 goals-against average and .906 save percentage in 35 games.
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