Drew Doughty has shot down a nine-year deal worth $61.2 million, and perhaps now it's time for the Kings to consider dealing him. The idea seemed insane to me a month ago, and even though I questioned his personality and if he should be the cornerstone of the Kings, plenty of fans came to his defense.
With these new reports from Nick Kypreos, NBC Sports and the LA Times it may be wise to reconsider the no way, no how trade stance. Franchise blueliners don't grow on trees, but neither do 21-year-olds fresh off of a concussion-shortened season that turn down nearly $7 million a year.
This situation is aggravating to both fans of the Kings—who prior to this debacle had a lot to be excited about—and management alike.
So which teams could make a move for the defender if a deal isn't reached and the Kings finally (and rightfully) say enough is enough? Squads like the Toronto Maple Leafs come to mind; teams with plenty of cap space and young assets to send back to the Kings.
Recently, Bruins center Marc Savard was shut down for the season, and maybe even for good. This was awful and sad news, as he is one of the classiest and most talented players around. But the call did have a silver lining for Boston.
And that's a lot of cap space.
According to Capgeek, the Bruins have over $7 million open to new contracts and trades.
Boston also has the assets to send back to the Kings in a deal. They are fresh off of a Stanley Cup and, while they were stellar in their own zone throughout all of last year, adding a player like Doughty would reinvigorate a team that may have a Cup hangover and electrify the fanbase even more.
The Bruins currently have their hands full with their own holdout in Brad Marchand, and perhaps he could be a part of the deal as well. It'd be a bit foolish to think that Boston would deal Tyler Seguin under normal circumstances, but a chance at Doughty might be just enough to pry the prized prospect away.
The Edmonton Oilers are a team that has been in the doldrums of the league for a few years running, and, as such, they have been able to horde a contingent of young prospects that could be the envy of most teams in the League.
But they are still a ways off from truly competing for the Cup. Adding Ryan Nugent-Hopkings gives Edmonton four big-name forward prospects in the lineup/system. But the team is lacking a bit in their own end.
Maybe it would make sense to package one of these offensive future-stars with a pick or two to land a young, big time defender in Drew Doughty. They also have over $7 million in space to play with, so it could work.
The St. Louis Blues, like the Oilers, have a wide array of talented youngsters up front that could be enticing to the Kings should they decide to shop Doughty.
Players like Patrik Berglund or David Backes could be bundled with picks and sent the other way if the Blues decided that bringing on a star defender was in their best interests. But St. Louis already has a lot of talent both on offense and defense, and this kind of trade could upset the balance a bit.
Still, guys like Doughty don't become available often. The thought of having him anchor the blueline may bring back enough memories of the days when Chris Pronger roamed free and the Blues were winning President's Trophies to make it make sense for the promising squad.
It seems like yesterday that I literally called this idea madness.
Not because the idea doesn't make sense for Detroit, but because I had a hard time seeing how it would make sense for the Kings. LA is getting ready to contend for the Cup, and I figured the odds of them dealing Doughty were slim.
But every time the All-Star defender turned down a contract, I think those odds went up.
It's no secret that Detroit's blueline is in a bit of limbo. The Wings might not advance their cyborg technology enough over the next year to continue keeping Nicklas Lidstrom looking like he's 35. And the new guard is still a little green in Hockeytown.
Detroit has the prospects to deal, if LA was interested in them in return, and has several young and talented roster players that could be moved as well. And a pick coming from the Wings probably isn't going to be lottery, so that may decrease their value a bit.
There are a lot of moving parts in this scenario, and the discussions would be interesting for sure.
It wouldn't be a complete trade idea slideshow if the Toronto Maple Leafs weren't involved.
Drew Doughty is a Brian Burke kind of hockey player, and it's been clear that he wants his team to be tough to play against. He possesses a deeper group of forwards than people realize and has plenty of grit on the blueline.
But if the Kings came calling, saying that Doughty was available, I would bet that Burke would at least listen.
The Leafs already have seven NHL caliber defenders under contract, but that could change if one of them was sent back to the Kings in a package for Doughty. A deal may take a chunk out of the forward core in Toronto, but a player like this may be worth it to the feisty GM.
And tell me a Maple Leafs Doughty jersey wouldn't be one of the top sellers next year.