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Category: Tim Leiweke

Leiweke: Kings won't blink in salary stalemate with Doughty

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Tim Leiweke, president of the Kings’ parent company, AEG, said Monday he supports General Manager Dean Lombardi’s stance in negotiations with unsigned defenseman Drew Doughty and emphasized Lombardi’s offer of an average $6.8 million annually is based solely on allocating dollars to improve the team and maintaining a strong nucleus that will allow the Kings to compete for the Stanley Cup for years to come.

Doughty, a restricted free agent, remains at home in London, Canada, working out with a junior team while the Kings get deeper into training camp and prepare for their season-opening trip to Sweden and Germany.

Leiweke told The Times on Monday that the Kings are not trying to be cheap with Doughty and, in fact, plan to spend up to the salary cap of $64.3 million. But they want room to upgrade their talent before the trading deadline and maneuver in case of injuries, and paying Doughty the $7 million-plus that he’s seeking would change the allocation and budget and have long-term implications.

“What Dean has said and what I’m going to reiterate on behalf of ownership is that we’re going to be a cap team. This is not a matter of the Kings or AEG saving money. That is zero of the conflict here,” Leiweke said.

“This is a matter of allocation of dollars and the fight here is how do we ultimately respect Drew. And we respect the world out of Drew. I think the world of the kid. He is the cornerstone of the franchise long term and we’re not going to let him go anywhere. Dean’s 100% [correct] that a trade solution’s not in the cards….

“The difference of opinion here is that Drew may see this as disrespect, and it’s not at all. We have offered to make him the fourth-highest-paid defenseman in the NHL and equal the highest-paid King in our history. When I look at that, I think there either has to be a miscommunication or Drew’s a 21-year-old and probably hasn’t done what he may need to do here, which is stand up and take charge of the decision.”

The Kings' offer,  believed to be for six to eight years,  would put him on par with the team-high salary of center Anze Kopitar. Doughty is believed to be seeking over $7 million per season.

"We love Drew. I love Drew personally. I think he’s a great kid and I think he’s going to be a great player in the league long-term," Leiweke. "That said, what Dean’s offered him we’re 100% supportive and in fact, I think Dean was aggressive. And if our mistake is we offered it too quick, then Drew needs to take a step back and understand it’s not about a lack of negotiation. The fact is we offered it quickly because we didn’t want to negotiate.

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Kings optimistic after 'all-in' presentation to Brad Richards

Richards3 The Kings' eight-man delegation had about 90 minutes to make a presentation to Brad Richards and his agent, Pat Morris, on Friday in Toronto, emerging optimistic about luring the prize free agent forward to the West Coast.

Tim Leiweke, chief executive of the Kings' parent company, AEG, led the group. He said the presentation "went well. He was very impressed. Our team did the best player presentation I have ever seen."

The Kings' pitch, members of the group said, included game video that highlighted the team's potential and where Richards would fit in, recruitment messages from celebrities such as Hollywood mega-producer Jerry Bruckheimer -- an avid hockey fan -- and Lakers star Kobe Bryant, and suggestions for potential residences based on the house Richards now has.

"It was all-encompassing," said Mike Altieri, the Kings' vice president of communications. "It talked about the organization, hockey operations, lifestyle. We went all-in."

Leiweke said after the presentation that he spoke one-on-one with Richards.

"He not only asked questions, we stayed behind and talked one-on-one. He's a very good guy, and I liked him a lot," Leiweke said by phone on the way to the Toronto airport.

“He was very knowledgeable and a good-character guy.”

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Kings GM Dean Lombardi, Coach Terry Murray get two-year extensions


Dean Lombardi and other key members of the Kings’ management team will have two more years to continue a long rebuilding process that took a major leap forward when the team made the playoffs this season for the first time since 2002.
Lombardi, who had a year left on the contract he signed in 2006, has been given a two-year extension with an option for longer. Ron Hextall, the Kings’ assistant general manager, Jeff Solomon, the vice president of hockey operations and legal affairs, and Coach Terry Murray also got two-year extensions as well, carrying all four of them through the 2012-13 season.
Kingslogo “I know there was a little bit of a concern with the fans as to were we going to get this done, but our season went longer than normal — thank God,” said Tim Leiweke, the Kings’ governor and the president and chief executive officer of AEG, the club’s parent company.
“We wanted also to stay out of Dean’s way with Manchester and the Monarchs’ [American Hockey League] run. Then Dean and I sat down three or four weeks ago and had a conversation. We started going back and forth on some ideas. I had to let him yell at me a couple of times. The bottom line is Dean wants to be here. He wants to finish what we started. He thinks we are on the verge of something spectacular, and we want to keep our nucleus together.”
The move comes two days before the Kings will play host to the NHL’s annual entry draft, to be held Friday and Saturday at Staples Center. Past drafts have helped Lombardi overhaul a team that had only 68 points in the 2006-07 season and lacked depth in its farm system and turn the Kings into a playoff qualifier built around an exceptional core of young players.
Murray guided the Kings to 46 wins last season, tying a club record. They set a club record with 24 road wins and 51 road points. Their overall total of 101 points was the third-best in team history.
“We have predictability,” Leiweke said, “and now we can singularly focus on the draft and on next week” when the NHL’s free agent signing period begins.

More later at www.latimes.com/sports

Helene Elliott

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