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Kings, Drew Doughty agree on new contract [Updated]

September 29, 2011 |  8:23 pm

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The Kings and defenseman Drew Doughty verbally agreed on a new contract Thursday night, meaning the restricted free agent could join the team in time for its upcoming trip to Germany and Sweden for its final exhibition game and first two regular-season games.

Financial terms were not immediately available. However, after weeks of frustration and stalled negotiations, General Manager Dean Lombardi planned to sweeten the average annual value of the club's offer to exceed $6.8 million, the current team-leading average annual value of Anze Kopitar's contract.

[Updated, 8:30 p.m.: The deal Doughty agreed to is worth $56 million over eight years.]

Although Lombardi had said several times that he would not go above $6.8 million per year for Doughty, the stalemate and Doughty's apparent willingness to accept a long-term deal led Lombardi to bend.

It's not clear how long the deal will be for, but the Kings' last offers to Doughty gave him choices between a seven-year term and an eight-year term.

Doughty, 21, was a finalist for the Norris trophy as the NHL's top defenseman in his second season, 2009-10, but he struggled at times last season after suffering a concussion.

More coverage soon at latimes.com/sports

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-- Helene Elliott

Photo: Kings defenseman Drew Doughty. Credit: Kirby Lee / U.S. Presswire

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