Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 09/16/11 at 12:03 AM ET
from Rich Hammond of LA Kings Insider,
Once again, the Kings have managed to put themselves in the middle of one of hockey’s messiest offseason stories. Last year, they dipped their toe into the Ilya Kovalchuk situation and ended up getting stuck in free-agent quicksand for a month. Now it’s Drew Doughty’s contract, a situation they hoped to have resolved more than two months ago. Remember, at one point, the Kings hoped to have Doughty signed prior to the start of the free-agency period, so they knew how much money they could offer Brad Richards in their low-profile attempt to sign Richards. Now, no Richards, no Doughty.
Perhaps that was part of the problem. From their perspective, the Kings went big early, deciding in July that they would be willing to give Doughty a contract equal to — or actually, in total, greater than — the one they gave Anze Kopitar in 2008. They thought that would be enough. By all accounts, it isn’t. Thus the problem. The Kings showed, in July, what they claimed (and still claim) was their best hand, and for two months they have remained adamant that they won’t budge. Other offers have been exchanged, at different levels, but nothing has significantly changed.
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