One young Kings defenseman avoided contract drama last season. Jack Johnson signed a seven-year, $30.5-million contract extension in January, and not only did Johnson get the deal done months before he was slotted to be a restricted free agent, he essentially negotiated the deal himself, without an agent. Johnson, now in the first year of that new deal, was on the ice today partnered with Rob Scuderi, and afterward he talked about Doughty’s absence and his own thoughts on contract negotiation.
Question: What are your thoughts on Drew Doughty not being here?
JOHNSON: “It’s the business side of it. It’s the part of the sport that sucks, but it’s got to get done. It’s totally between him and his agent and Kings management.”
Question: And it creates something of a ripple effect. It maybe opens up a spot for a younger defenseman…
JOHNSON: “He might be here tomorrow or he might not be here for a few weeks. You don’t know. So you’ve just got to kind of improvise, adapt and overcome. We know he will be here eventually. Like I said, it’s the business side of it. Stuff like this happens.”
Question: You were in a different situation last year, when you basically negotiated your own contract. What was that like?
JOHNSON: “I kiddingly told Drew that I would have done his for free. I enjoyed it. I thought it was easy to do. You just sit down with Kings management. I told them I didn’t want to play games with them or anything. I’m not doing this `high-low’ stuff. It was, `Let’s be fair, let’s get it done,’ and it was easy to do. I can’t imagine not doing one by myself ever again. But everyone is different. Everyone has different needs. Me personally, I’ll probably do every contract myself.”