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Report: Kings' offers to Doughty to decrease as he misses time

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TSN.ca Staff
9/16/2011 4:49:45 PM
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It appears that any future offer from the Los Angeles Kings to restricted free agent Drew Doughty will take into account any time missed.

According to lakingsinsider.com, any new contract offer will decrease for every day of training camp the young defenceman misses.

Kings general manager Dean Lombardi said that, because players now get paid for training camp as part of the latest Collective Bargaining Agreement, the number of days Doughty holds out must be factored in to the team's contract offer. Based on the $6.8 million per year offer the Kings have made, that means a reduction of almost $25,000 for each day he is absent from camp.

"The problem we have, and we're going to have to see how this evolves, is that generally with a player, you establish his market value and he signs up for 275 days of work," Lombardi told LA Kings Insider. "That was the one thing that changed during the CBA, that players were paid during training camp. So, quite frankly, it's the way we have to approach this. Let alone missing a day or work, as well as getting behind your teammates in terms of preparation. It probably makes this a little more difficult, but you have to factor that in now. You're not getting a full year's work as of today."

Lombardi went on to say that he feels the contract originally offered to Doughty, the team's first-round pick, and second overall in 2008, was a fair one.

"There's no doubt in my mind we can look Drew in the eye and say this is a fair offer," Lombardi told TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun in an interview on ESPN.com. "It's out there in terms of where (the offer) would put in in the league as a defenseman and where he is on our team. That's our best offer. That's fair to say. What we put out there is out best offer.

"I don't want to get into the intricacies what we offered, in terms of the minute details," Lombardi told the website. "It's safe to say that, as far as the big picture within the league, we certainly made him an offer that puts him amongst the top defencemen in the league. Then you look at your team. It's no secret that he would be at the top of our team.

"The third thing that's critical to us is the allocation. Where we're at now, we certainly stretched the limit in terms of paying him amongst the top players in the league, paying him appropriately within the team's salary structure and, most importantly, being able to keep this group together."

And while negotiations don't appear to be very encouraging at the moment, Lombardi ended by saying he isn't worried about losing his young, star defenceman.

"There's no doubt this kid loves the game and loves this team," added Lombardi. "It's disappointing. It's not that I'm not encouraged that he's going to be here.

"Even before we made our trade (for Mike Richards) and went through free agency, this was our number-one priority. This is a home-grown boy and a key part of this franchise.

Doughty's agent Don Meehan declined comment when asked about Lombardi's comments.

Lombardi said he hasn't shut the door on talks with Meehan.

"We're always open to talk," said Lombardi. "The dialogue remains open."

But Lombardi isn't sure the last offer will remain on the table now that Doughty has missed the start of camp.

"We have to look at scenarios because he's missed a day of work now," said Lombardi. "There has to be some finality. This has been a long process. We started this in June."

Drew Doughty (Photo: Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images)

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(Photo: Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images)
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