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Category: Drew Doughty

Kings, Ducks to open training camps Friday

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The Kings and Ducks have announced their training camp schedules and rosters, and both teams will have plenty of sessions open to the public.

Players on each team will report for physicals and testing on Friday and will take to the ice on Saturday, with the Kings working out at Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo and the Ducks at the Honda Center in Anaheim.

Click the links for rosters and schedules for the Kings and the Ducks.

With the announcement Thursday that Teemu Selanne will return to the Ducks next season after agreeing to a one-year, $4-million deal, the biggest remaining question is whether unsigned restricted free agent Drew Doughty will agree with the Kings on a new contract in time to join his teammates Friday.

The answer should be be clear later Thursday or on Friday, so stay tuned.

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-- Helene Elliott

Photo: Drew Doughty. Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

Kings' Lombardi to consult with bosses on Doughty negotiations

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Kings General Manager Dean Lombardi said Sunday he planned to soon talk to his boss, Tim Leiweke, to firm up their strategy for contract talks with Drew Doughty and so Leiweke can in turn give owner Philip Anschutz an update.

But there didn’t seem to be a whole lot of progress to report, though Lombardi said he spoke three times last week with Doughty’s agent, Don Meehan, for varying lengths of time.

Players are due to report to El Segundo on Friday for pre-training camp physicals and to take to the ice on Saturday for camp.

“I still have hope he’ll be here Friday. I don’t know if I expect it but I have hope,” Lombardi said Sunday after greeting a crowd of about 3,000 people at the Kings’ annual Hockey Fest event.

“It’s better than no hope. I still have hope he’s going to be here, yeah.”

While fielding questions from fans, Lombardi discussed his experience while he was the general manager of the San Jose Sharks and endured holdouts by three players that "led to disaster." However, he said the circumstances are different here because in San Jose, for reasons he didn’t specify Sunday, he could not make a fair offer. "I can assure you that’s not the problem here," he told the crowd.

Doughty did not attend Hockey Fest, and since he’s not under contract he wasn’t under obligation to participate.

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Drew Doughty not expected at Kings' Fan Fest Sunday

Drew3 Some notes from the Kings and Ducks as they prepare for their rookie camps and training camps next week:

Restricted free-agent defenseman Drew Doughty is not expected to attend the Kings’ Fan Fest, to be held Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Staples Center. Since he’s not signed he’s not obligated to attend promotional or other team functions, and he’s not on the participant list the Kings sent out Thursday.

His absence should add spice to the first event, “State of the Kings,” a scheduled two-hour session that will include a question-and-answer session with General Manager Dean Lombardi. That should be interesting, to say the least.

Lombardi said Thursday through a team spokesman that he and Doughty’s agent, Don Meehan, have agreed not to comment publicly about the negotiations. However, it doesn’t appear that an agreement is imminent.

The Hockey Fest event is sold out, but portions of it will be streamed live at Lakings.com.

The Kings also said Thursday that strength and conditioning coach Tim Adams had left the club to “pursue other opportunities.”

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This ship will sail without Drew Doughty

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Kings defenseman Drew Doughty, a restricted free agent who’s still unsigned, dropped out of a team cruise that was to leave Friday afternoon from Long Beach for Baja California, Mexico.

The annual voyage, which enables fans to mingle with players and team staff, originally featured Doughty, Wayne Simmonds and Trevor Lewis as scheduled participants. But Simmonds was traded to Philadelphia in the deal that brought Mike Richards to the Kings and a team spokesman said Doughty decided not to go.

Lewis was still scheduled to be on the trip to Ensenada aboard the Carnival Cruise Lines Fun Ship Paradise, along with radio analyst Daryl Evans and former King Ian Turnbull. And mascot Bailey too.

There’s no official word on why Doughty stayed on dry land but it’s likely he wanted to avoid facing constant questions about his contract status with no easy escape from those inquiries except a lifeboat.

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Dean Lombardi: Might take Kings 'a while' to re-sign Drew Doughty [Updated]

Drew_240Kings fans waiting for General Manager Dean Lombardi to quickly re-sign restricted free-agent defenseman Drew Doughty might need some patience.

Asked Tuesday if there were anything new regarding his negotiations with Doughty, Lombardi said no, and added this via email:

"I am getting the feeling on Drew that unfortunately this could take a while. As we just saw this past week free agency produces a frenzy for players at all levels. We must be judicious about not getting into this market for our own players. Therefore it is critical with Drew that the dollars reflect a fair rate of return regarding the term of the contract. We must be prepared to do what it takes to get it right."

Lombardi also said the Kings would match any offer sheet Doughty might sign with another team. It's unlikely any team would make an offer of a magnitude that would entice Doughty away, because paying him that much money would leave that team little room to pay the support players necessary to build a winner. Also, Doughty grew up a Kings fan.

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NHL deadline for qualifying offers approaches

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Another reminder that there’s really no off-season anymore in the NHL: Monday at 2 p.m. Pacific time is the deadline for clubs to extend qualifying offers to restricted free agents. Extending a qualifying offer ensures that a team retains negotiating rights to that player. Restricted free agents who don’t receive qualifying offers become unrestricted free agents.

The Kings said players receiving qualifying offers were: goaltender Jeff Zatkoff; defensemen Andrew Campbell, Drew Doughty, Johan Fransson and Alec Martinez; and forwards Marc-Andre Cliche, Rich Clune, Corey Elkins, Bud Holloway, Trevor Lewis, David Meckler, Oscar Moller, Patrick Mullen and Brad Richardson.

The only player not receiving a qualifying offer was forward Rob Bordson, who was an unpublicized part of the trade that brought Mike Richards from Philadelphia. The Kings agreed to take his contract so the Flyers could remain under the maximum number of player contracts, but the Kings never mentioned him in their press release announcing the trade.

The Ducks haven’t announced their qualifying offers but it’s safe to guess they won’t extend one to forward Kyle Chipchura.

Next up on the NHL calendar is the Hockey Hall of Fame’s announcement Tuesday of its Class of 2011. Doug Gilmour and Joe Nieuwendyk are considered likely honorees. The announcement will be televised on the NHL Network starting at noon Pacific time.

Then on Friday the free agency period begins, and we’ll see how rich forward Brad Richards will become. Start with “very” as the jumping-off point.

In addition, teams are holding or will hold development camps for their draft picks and undrafted free agents. The Kings will hold their camp July 11-12 in El Segundo.

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-- Helene Elliott

Photo: Kings defenseman Drew Doughty is congratulated by his teammates after scoring a goal against the San Jose Sharks on April 16. Credit: Kyle Terada / US Presswire

Kings seek another upturn after up-and-down season

Dustin-brown_225 A year ago, simply making the playoffs was enough of an accomplishment for the Kings after an eight-year absence from postseason play.

When this season began they considered making the playoffs to be the jumping-off point for their larger goal of making an impact in the chase for the Stanley Cup.

That could still happen if they erase the Sharks’ 3-2 series lead Monday at Staples Center and carry the series back to San Jose for a winner-take-all seventh game Wednesday. But Monday’s game will be the second straight time the Kings will have faced elimination in this series, keeping them on a tightrope with no safety net below.

They navigated that perilous situation in winning Game 5 at San Jose on Saturday but needed goaltender Jonathan Quick’s 51-save performance to do it. They’ll have to do it again Monday at Staples, where the Sharks won the third and fourth games of the series last week.

“It’s maybe been the underlying theme of this team this year,” said right wing Dustin Brown, the Kings’ captain. “We had a great start and then we put ourselves behind the eight-ball a third of the way through the season, and then we do it again another third of the way through the season, and we found a way to battle back.

“You’ve got to try to take the positives out of our resiliency this year. That might come into play in this series. We got Game 5, we’re back on home ice. We’ve just got to take it really one shift at a time, one period at a time and go from there.”

They've had to be resilient in this series, too. After losing the opener in overtime, they recovered to win the second game, 4-0. After absorbing a crushing defeat at home in Game 3 -- in which they squandered a 4-0 lead before losing in overtime, 6-5 -- and then losing Game 4 as well, they came back for a 3-1 win at San Jose on Saturday.

"This has been a roller coaster of a series. We’ve been up, we’ve been down. We’ve blown leads. We’ve pretty much done everything," Brown said.

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Kings' Drew Doughty explains confrontation in Game 4

Kings1 Deadlines and a longer-than-usual game Thursday prevented me from staying downstairs to hear Coach Terry Murray’s remarks after the Kings' 6-3 loss to the Sharks in Game 4 of their playoff series, but something jumped out at me later when I saw the postgame quote sheet that is compiled by the Kings’ media relations staff.

Murray was quoted as saying Sharks fourth-line center Scott Nichol was “the reason that they won,” a reference to a confrontation between Nichol and Kings defenseman Drew Doughty that sent both players to the penalty box at 3:14 of the second period. San Jose scored twice with the teams skating four on four, and Murray saw that as the pivotal moment of the game.

Doughty said Friday he knew he shouldn’t have risen to Nichols’ bait but offered a reasonable explanation.

“That’s really not the right tradeoff at all, but my emotions are running high. He tried to knee me, so I was upset about that, and then he knocked out my teeth and I was upset about that too,” said Doughty, opening his mouth to show off two sawed-off bottom teeth.

“That was the turning point of the game, and they got two goals when I was in the box,” he said. “I was upset but I can’t be doing that. I got to realize that maybe if it’s a guy like [Dan] Boyle or [Joe] Thornton or something like that it’s a better tradeoff. But Nichol’s a fourth-line center and not playing a lot of minutes and my team needs me and I can’t be in the box.”

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Kings' Doughty, Sharks' Couture put friendship on hold for now

Photo: Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty (8) sets up for a pass against the Dallas Stars in the first period of play at the Staples Center April 2, 2011. Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea / US Presswire It seemed almost too good to be true when defenseman Drew Doughty, chosen second overall by the Kings in the 2008 entry draft, said he was a Kings fan growing up.

But Sharks rookie center Logan Couture knows Doughty well enough to verify it — and Couture hopes his knowledge about his childhood friend will help the Sharks when the teams’ first-round playoff series opens Thursday at HP Pavilion.

Couture, a contender for the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s top rookie this season, and Doughty, a finalist for the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s top defenseman last season, grew up together in the Canadian city of London, Ontario, and played on the same teams for several years. Couture, eight months older than Doughty, was drafted in 2007.

They still see each other in the off-season and have been texting each other recently, all in good fun.

Couture said their buddies back home are unhappy that he or Doughty will be eliminated after the first round, “but I’m really hoping that it’s him,” Couture said after the Sharks’ morning skate Thursday. “To have two players like that who played growing up together and making it to the NHL and face each other in the playoffs, it’s a small world.”

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Notes and quotes from the Kings' 4-3 victory over Colorado

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Notes, quotes and statistics from the Kings' 4-3 victory over Colorado on Saturday. Thanks, as always, to Kings PR whiz Jeremy Zager, whose Grandma Schwartz has yet to come to a game this season. C'mon, grandma!

Coach Terry Murray

On the game: "We made it interesting at the end just through getting too casual, a little careless with some plays at critical times at the game. You go into the third period with that kind of scenario, you want to make sure you're able to lock it down.  Good teams do. You don't get reckless or careless and start taking some penalties, especially the high-sticking penalties. ... We have to clean that part of it up right away."

About losing Marco Sturm on waivers: "I found out at about 9:15 this morning. ... I had been thinking about it [not starting Sturm] through yesterday, watching Colorado play the last couple games with their lineup, I certainly had [enforcer Kevin] Westgarth on notice. ... The player that was going to be out would have been Sturm."

About Monday's trade deadline and possible changes: "There have been zero conversations with [General Manager Dean Lombardi] and I about any player that's out there. ... I like our team. I like the way it is right now. We've got a great chemistry, and that's so important, to have that chemistry. You can put a lot of different people into the dressing room and if it doesn't work, boy, you're very frustrated as an organization. ... We've got a good group of guys that play hard for each other."

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Kings hold on to beat Avalanche, 4-3

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Forced to reconfigure their lineup Saturday after left wing Marco Sturm was unexpectedly claimed on waivers by Washington, the Kings took the change in stride by moving Brad Richardson to Sturm’s previous spot on the top line. Richardson helped set up the team’s first goal in a 4-3 victory over the Colorado Avalanche before an announced sellout crowd of 18,118 at Staples Center.

Although they haven’t always adjusted well on the fly this season -- such as when other teams figured out their power-play strategy or penalty-killing schemes -- the Kings on Saturday calmly handled the lineup change caused by Sturm's loss. Anze Kopitar scored for the third straight game — he had scored only once in the team’s previous 15 games — and the Kings took a season-high 42 shots.

Colorado made it close with three goals in the third period, including an unassisted goal at 19:30 after a turnover by the Kings in their own end.

The victory was the Kings’ third straight and improved their record to 11-1-3 in their last 15 games.

The Avalanche, which has won only once in its last 13 games, put up little resistance or pressure against Jonathan Quick until the final period.

The King scored first, at 7:13 of the first period. Wayne Simmonds dumped the puck behind Colorado’s defense and pursued it behind the net. He won it and got it to Richardson, who threw it in front. The puck bounced in the slot and Kopitar potted the rebound for his 20th goal this season.

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