Training camp? Who needs training camp? Drew Doughty and the Los Angeles Kings certainly do not, as just a week before the regular season begins, general manager Dean Lombardi ended his summer-long nightmare by agreeing to an eight-year deal with the team.
According to TSN, the deal is worth $7 million per season, totaling at $56 million over the course of the term. The deal makes Doughty the third-highest paid defenseman in the NHL, and it pushes the $6.8 million limit Lombardi had originally placed on the negotations. That's the same salary earned by the Anze Kopitar, formerly the Kings highest-paid player.
That's what a nasty, PR nightmare of a standoff between a star player and management will do. Somebody had to budge. Doughty wouldn't accept an offer of that $6.8 million earlier in the summer, and now he's the Kings highest paid player. Lombardi budged, but nobody seems to be complaining this evening.
Coach Terry Murray is just looking forward to getting Doughty back on the ice. Via LA Kings Insider:
"The plan is to get him in here and get him through his physical. I'm hoping that he's able to fly over to Vegas with us. We have some ice time at 2 o'clock in Vegas (on Saturday) and we'll get him on the ice with the guys who are not in the lineup that afternoon. Then off we go to Europe. So, we'll have some time. We'll get lots of practice work in. I'm planning on that first game of the season."
The Kings begin the 2011-12 season next Friday, October 7 in Stockholm against the New York Rangers.