Kings’ Dean Lombardi says he won’t trade rights to Drew Doughty
Kings General Manager Dean Lombardi said Tuesday he won’t trade the rights to restricted free-agent defenseman Drew Doughty even though they’ve been unable to agree on a new contract.
“There’s no way,” Lombardi said when asked about trading Doughty to break the stalemate.
The Kings have offered Doughty up to nine years at an average annual value of $6.8 million but he indicated he doesn’t want to sign for that long and give up several years of unrestricted free agency. Doughty also rejected offers of six to eight years. He remained home in London, Canada, while the Kings prepared to start exhibition play with a pair of split-squad games against the Phoenix Coyotes on Wednesday.
Although a five-year deal seems a reasonable compromise, the Kings want to avoid that because it would put Doughty and top-line center Anze Kopitar on the unrestricted free-agent market at the same time. The Kings then might have trouble retaining both players under a salary cap whose formula will be determined in the next collective bargaining agreement. The current labor deal between the NHL and the NHL Players’ Assn. expires next September.
Lombardi also said he had not spoken to Doughty’s agent, Don Meehan, on Tuesday.
Visor works for Stoll
Veteran center Jarret Stoll can clearly see the benefits of wearing a visor.
After experiencing a few close encounters with errant pucks last season — and mindful of the serious eye injury suffered by Vancouver Canucks center Manny Malhotra — Stoll decided to wear the eye protection in training camp. He plans to keep it this season, starting Wednesday against the Coyotes at Staples Center.
“I’ve been wearing it all summer and I don’t even think about it now,” said Stoll, who is expected to center for Kyle Clifford and Scott Parse on Wednesday. “I don’t expect any changes back to just the helmet.”
He adopted the visor, he said, “to prolong my career, is probably the easy way to say it. The game’s so fast. It can be dangerous at times if we don’t protect ourselves. There’s been a lot of situations lately, Manny Malhotra for one. I guess last year I had a couple times where I had some scares.
“It’s tough to change anything during the year — equipment, skates, stuff like that. But this summer if you start right away with it and stick with it, stick to it, I think it’s an easy switch.”
Clifford, Stoll and Parse could form an interesting third line with Clifford’s muscle, Parse’s speed and Stoll’s faceoff skills. Stoll thinks the trio can contribute in several areas.
“We’ve got a great team. We feel we have a good team to go deep and hopefully win the Stanley Cup. Any role that’s important, you’ve got to take a lot of pride in it,” he said.
“It doesn’t mean you’re just a checker. I feel I can play good on both sides of the puck, and you’re going to have to if you want to be out there playing and get ice time and being in those key situations which I want to play in.”
Stoll said players are ready to go after scrimmaging and going through drills since last Saturday.
“I think we’ve done enough skating. Now the fun begins,” he said. “It’s going to be fun to get out there and start playing games, just getting the feel with your teammates, snapping the puck around, making some plays, scoring some goals, hopefully getting our team shaped up.”
Left wing Simon Gagne was scratched from the Staples Center lineup after he reported having the flu and missed practice Tuesday. Brad Richardson, who can play the wing or center, will play on the left side with Mike Richards and Dustin Brown.
Goaltender Jonathan Quick will start and play two periods at Staples Center. Jonathan Bernier will start the other split-squad game at Glendale, Ariz.
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