Kings still at odds with Drew Doughty over new contract
Defenseman Drew Doughty was not expected to report to the Kings’ El Segundo training facility Friday for the first day of training camp, clouding the start of the season for a team that had finally assembled the scoring power, depth and maturity to contend for the Stanley Cup.
Doughty, a restricted free agent, was home in Canada late Thursday while his agent, Don Meehan, and the Kings remained at odds over a new contract. Meehan said he had received communication from the Kings on Wednesday and replied Thursday after talking to Doughty.
“We’re committed to being engaged in discussions and we’re more than willing to talk,” Meehan said by phone Thursday. “I think the next step is for the Kings to respond to our correspondence.”
Kings General Manager Dean Lombardi declined to comment.
Players are scheduled to undergo physical exams and testing Friday and take to the ice Saturday.
Hoping to avoid a contract dispute, Lombardi in July offered Doughty a nine-year deal worth about $6.8 million annually, the same average as first-line center Anze Kopitar. Though acknowledging Doughty’s abundant talent, the Kings don’t want to pay the 21-year-old more on average than they pay the more proven Kopitar. They might have gone higher to secure Doughty well into his unrestricted free-agency years, but Doughty wants a shorter duration and more money.
The Ducks, by contrast, will open camp Friday at Honda Center with everyone on board after right wing Teemu Selanne’s acceptance of a one-year, $4-million contract.