The Los Angeles Kings and star defenseman Drew Doughty finally agreed to a deal late Thursday night that will keep the 21-year-old in Los Angeles for eight more years.
Doughty is undoubtedly one of the bright young stars in all of hockey, and he was looking for a big payday. Well, he got it, with a deal worth $56 million over those eight years. Kings general manager Dean Lombardi had said he would not increase his offer over the seven-year deal worth a reported $6.8 million per season that had been originally offered to Doughty. Both sides apparently budged in the negotiations, as the Canadian defender’s agent offered to add an extra year for a little more cash.
Doughty will be entering his fourth year in the NHL and has already established himself as one of the best young players in the game. He was the second-youngest Norris Trophy finalist in league history in 2010, the same year he won an Olympic gold medal with team Canada.
Oddly the Ontario native was a life-long Kings fan because of his love for Wayne Gretzky, and that fact helped convince the Kings to take him with the No. 2 pick in the 2008 NHL Draft.
Doughty missed the first 13 days of training camp, but will rejoin a young and incredibly talented nucleus. The team’s top defender was the only missing piece of a group of young stars that includes Anze Kopitar (24 years old), Mike Richards (26), Jack Johnson (24), Dustin Brown (26) and goalie Jonathan Quick (25) who are all locked up for a few years.
Now that this deal is done the Kings finally look ready to contend in the Western Conference.