While the free agency bug won’t bite Los Angeles Kings star defenseman Drew Doughty for another year, the team and the blue liner are eligible to do an extension this summer.
The 28-year-old is set to become an unrestricted free agent after the 2018-19 season when his eight-year, $56 million contract will come to an end. While it was reported by Sportsnet earlier this week that contract negotiations were running smoothly, TSN’s NHL insider Bob McKenzie has revealed on Insider Trading last night that “there haven’t been any negotiations, per se, at this point, but they’re expected to begin in mid-June.”
The reason behind all this might be the fact that Doughty has reportedly decided to represent himself. Even McKenzie sees this new twist as quite shocking.
“The interesting thing is whether Doughty will do the deal himself. He’s been talking about maybe not using an agent in this process and we’ll find out more on that prior to the draft."
Back in November, Doughty said that he would discuss numbers with Ottawa Senators captain Erik Karlsson to see what he would be seeking in a new contract .
“I know I’m going to talk to Karlsson back and forth, kind of see what money he’s looking for,” Doughty said in an interview with The Athletic in November. “I’ll kind of look at what money I’m looking for. I don’t know if he’s going to re-sign with Ottawa. I don’t know if I’ll re-sign with L.A. You just never know what’s going to happen.”
Doughty also said that he and Karlsson would prefer to sign for more than what P.K. Subban‘s $9 million annual salary with the Nashville Predators.
“Right now, I guess we’d be gauging off what P.K. makes. I think both of us deserve quite a bit more than that,” Doughty said.
In 82 games this season, Doughty tallied 10 goals and 60 points, but went pointless in the Kings’ first round sweeping series loss to the Vegas Golden Knights.
The star defenseman has admitted he wants to stay in Los Angeles, but he also wants a shot at another Stanley Cup. Knowing what he truly wants, maybe he is best to represent himself after all…