Drew Doughty has already lost some of the anonymity he used to enjoy in Los Angeles.
In 2014, after the Kings made it to their second Stanley Cup Final in three years, the All-Star defenseman said things had changed “drastically” for him and his teammates.
“I don’t know if I like it better or not,” Doughty said. “I for sure don’t like it better, actually. We’ll go out for dinner – the beards we all have don’t help – but back in the day we could just pretty much roll in anywhere, and there’s no way anyone would know who you were, no possible way. And now it seems like everywhere we do go, we are getting recognized. It’s kind of more like a Canada, when you’re back in home in Canada.”
We bring that quote up today because Doughty can become an unrestricted free agent in two years, and Toronto Maple Leafs fans would sure love to see him wearing blue and white.
So, would the London, Ontario, native ever consider playing for the Leafs?
“I think all of us Southern Ontario players, we secretly want to play for the Leafs, you know, we all have that kind of soft spot,” Doughty told TSN 1050 radio in Toronto. “So yeah, we’d all want to play here, especially with the team, the way they’re getting better.”
“I think it always comes down to how hard it would be to live in a city, being that big of a celebrity,” he added. “I’m spoiled in L.A. where I walk anywhere I want and not one person’s going to recognize me. If, say, for some reason I did play for the Leafs, I don’t know if I could get used to that. I think that’s the problem why guys don’t sign here.”
Doughty can sign an extension with the Kings next summer. The 27-year-old can sign anywhere he wants on July 1, 2019.
For the record, Doughty doesn’t have a no-trade clause, so if he were dealt to the Leafs, he’d have to play for them.