Tag: Don Meehan

Jarome Iginla

Trade time? Iginla and Flames not talking extension


Jarome Iginla figures to have a lot of talk swirling about him as we head towards the April 3 trade deadline. He’s on the final year of his contract and with the Flames struggling to be a true playoff contender and in need of a rebuild, he figures to earn plenty of interest from Cup-contending teams.

Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun adds to that speculation reporting that Iginla and the Flames haven’t yet talked about a contract extension. Iginla’s agent, Don Meehan, shared that information with the Sun and after spending the past 16 seasons with Calgary you’d think they would want to work on something like that.

If Iginla decides to not stay in Calgary, GM Jay Feaster could get a great return for someone of his caliber and there will be plenty of teams eager to go for him. Think of what a team like Pittsburgh or Boston would be like with a power wing like Iginla on board for a Cup run.

This situation bears watching and with just three weeks until the deadline, you have to think Calgary will be active in figuring out whether or not they want to stop “going for it.”

Kings and Drew Doughty agree on 8-year, $56 million contract

Drew Doughty

After months of negotiating and a stress-filled summer for Kings fans all over California, the waiting (and worrying) has finally come to an end. According to TSN’s Bob McKenzie, the Los Angeles Kings and restricted agent Drew Doughty have at last come to terms on an 8-year, $56 million contract. And not a moment too soon.

In an official press release, the Kings announced that the two sides had come to a verbal agreement.  Needless to say, the announcement ignited celebrations for hockey fans in Los Angeles; and shouts of denial from opposing fans who still  held out hope that their team would sign the restricted free agent an offer sheet.

“The Los Angeles Kings have reached a verbal agreement with restricted free agent defenseman Drew Doughty on a multi-year contract, Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi announced tonight.”

By all measures, the two sides came together on a deal at the last minute. The Kings finally budged after insisting that he average cap hit of any deal would not exceed Anze Kopitar’s team high $6.8 million per season. From Doughty’s side, the young defenseman accepted an eight-year deal—a longer term than he may have preferred. The $7 million average salary per season will make him the third-highest paid defenseman—trailing only Shea Weber’s one-year contract and Brian Campbell’s ridiculous $7.1 million per season. Kings’ governor Tim Leiweke praised GM Dean Lombardi for getting a deal done that works for the team.

“Dean did a good job here. Dean is unbelievable with the budget and the forecasting and, as you know, he’s a professor when it comes to the boxes and forecasting where we’re going long-term. So he was passionate about protecting ourselves with some flexibility here. I feel good about the fact that we have someone that has the vision that Dean has, long-term, and is keeping the nucleus together. But he’s also smart, and he knows eight years is eight years. And this kid is 21 years old. He’s going to 29, and still in his prime, when he’s done with this contract. That’s a good thing for the franchise. The guy that isn’t mentioned here, Mr. Anschutz, he has broken the bank here. We are sending a very strong message to our fans. We’re committed to winning, and we just proved it again.”

Three weeks ago, there were reports that the Kings had offered the 21-year-old defenseman a 9-year deal worth $6.8 million per season.

From the Kings point of view, it’s easy easy to understand their excitement. The 8-year deal will eat up four of Doughty’s valuable “unrestricted years,” at a reasonable $7 million per season. One of the difficult parts of the negotiating process is that there’s no real comparable salary for a player like Doughty. He’s already become the second youngest player to be nominated for the Norris Trophy and proved he belonged among the league’s elite at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

The timing also worked out for Los Angeles as well. There were plenty of artificial deadlines; but both sides understood that a deal needed to be reached by the end of the week or Doughty would miss regular season games. The Kings have two more preseason games in North America before leaving for Europe on Saturday night. People around the organization said they hoped to sign him in time to participate in a couple of preseason games before the regular season started in Berlin. With tonight’s deal, the team will decide if they want him to play in Saturday’s preseason game against the Avalanche before heading to their final preseason game on Tuesday in Hamburg, Germany.

For Doughty, he instantly becomes one of the highest paid defensemen (and players) in the NHL. He successfully skipped his “second contract” and jumped right to his huge payday at the tender age of 21. $7 million per season will buy quite a few cocktails for the man who recently reached the legal drinking age.

Symbolically, it shows that the organization realizes he’s an crucial piece to their puzzle. He’s now the highest paid player on a team that not only has playoff aspirations, but Stanley Cup dreams. No pressure there kid.

Now comes the tough part. As weird as it may sound after this prolonged three month ordeal, someone may want to tell Doughty that negotiating the contract is the easy part. Now he’ll have the next eight years to prove that he’s worth it. With that kind of money and the type of team the Kings have assembled this season, individual statistics may not be enough to justify that kind of contract.

All the sudden, the stakes have been raised for Drew Doughty and the LA Kings. A Norris Trophy? He has eight years. Legitimate playoff performer? He has eight years. Stanley Cup?

You get the idea…

Terry Murray has Drew Doughty ‘in the front’ of his mind regarding lineup options

Dallas Stars v Los Angeles Kings

When it comes to the muddled negotiations between Drew Doughty’s reps and the Los Angeles Kings, the cliche “No news is good news” isn’t really true. As I wrote before, it seems like Kings GM Dean Lombardi and Doughty’s agent Don Meehan are in a tense staring contest with millions – not to mention the Kings’ seemingly promising upcoming season – hanging in the balance.

The latest news is more of the same: the word from Lombardi’s camp is that there’s nothing new to report regarding the negotiations according to report by Helene Elliott of the Los Angeles Times.

With the underlying feeling of hostility permeating between at least some people involved, it’s easy for some to forget that Doughty will eventually need to return to work with the team that drafted him second overall in 2008. Kings coach Terry Murray told Elliott that he has Doughty in mind when drawing up line combinations.

But Murray said that in preparing for the season, “he’s very much in the front of my mind whenever I sit down and go through the lines and the defense pairings. … If things happen where he’s here two days before the season starts, he’s in the lineup and ready to go.”

It’s not exactly ideal for Doughty to miss most – if not all – of training camp and the preseason, but he shouldn’t take a long time to shake off the rust whenever he signs with the Kings. Let’s hope it’s sooner rather than later, though.

(H/T to Rotoworld.)