Hello to everyone… The summer has officially come to an end for me — R&R time has been much appreciated — so we’ll jump back into things with the latest update on the Drew Doughty contract talks, courtesy of a chat today with Dean Lombardi. There have been no new discussions in the past two weeks. The Kings have a long-term offer on the table, but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the issue extend into late August, or perhaps even into September. It’s worth noting that Doughty’s agent, Don Meehan, also represented Evgeni Nabokov when, in 2002, Nabokov held out before signing a contract with the San Jose Sharks (and then-GM Lombardi) in late October.
As for the current Doughty negotiations, Lombardi said today, “I think it’s fair to say that in the last conversation, we set the parameters, as to where we feel his contract should be. We talked about a number of scenarios, and I guess now it’s their move. They never really responded.”
I also asked whether, independent of contract talks, the coaching staff has been in regular contact with Doughty in terms of hockey-related discussions. Lombardi said, “Yeah. (Assistant coach) Johnny Stevens handles the D, and it’s Johnny’s responsibility to stay in contact with these guys throughout the summer. Murph [Terry Murray] has talked to him and Johnny has talked to him a number of times. It’s all hockey. Obviously coaches are never involved in negotiations. That’s not their area. But Johnny has been pretty religious about staying in touch with him, because he kind of runs the defense under Murph. So they’ve had constant dialogue, but it’s all been about hockey and getting ready for the season.”