Doughty, Kings reach terms on $56M deal
The Los Angeles Kings announced late Thursday that the impasse with young star defenceman Drew Doughty was over.
The Kings said they have reached a verbal agreement with Doughty on a multi-year contract, without giving specific details.
Reports peg it a 56 million US over eight years, making the 21-year-old among the NHL's best-paid defencemen.
Doughty was among a number of talented young Group 2 restricted free agents in the league who entered September without deals.
Forward Brad Marchand of Boston and Toronto defenceman Luke Schenn reached deals with their clubs, while Phoenix centre Kyle Turris remains unsigned.
Kings general manager Dean Lombardi had publicly stated he wouldn't go above an average of $6.8 million US per season on a long term deal for Doughty.
Tim Leiweke, president of the team's parent company, supported that stance this week but also said: "I think the world of the kid. He is the cornerstone of the franchise long term and we’re not going to let him go anywhere."
Doughty recorded 16 goals and 43 assists, with a plus-20 rating to be named one of three finalist for the Norris Trophy in 2009-10, just his second full NHL season.
He suffered a slight dip in production in 2010-11, but still recorded healthy totals of 11 goals, 29 assists and a plus-13.
The London, Ont., native won a gold medal with Canada at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.
"We definitely want to get him in here as soon as possible," Kings forward Anze Kopitar said.
It is unknown how quickly Doughty will be on the ice for game action.
Los Angeles plays exhibition games Saturday in Las Vegas and Tuesday in Germany.
The Kings open the regular season on Oct. 7 in Stockholm against the New York Rangers.