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NHL Free Agents: How Drew Doughty and Each RFA's Situation Will Play out

Matthew FairburnCorrespondent ISeptember 19, 2011

NHL Free Agents: How Drew Doughty and Each RFA's Situation Will Play out

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    Drew Doughty's current contract holdout with the Los Angeles Kings is a prime example of why it is important for NHL teams to lock up their restricted free agents early.

    In recent weeks, the Philadelphia Flyers agreed to a long-term contract with James van Riemsdyk, the New York Islanders did the same with John Tavares and Tyler Myers signed a deal that will keep him in Buffalo for another handful of seasons.

    However, there are still teams like the Kings that are struggling to come to terms with their restricted free agents.

    Here's the latest, and how I see each situation playing out.

Josh Bailey

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    The Islanders agreed to terms with Josh Bailey on a two-year contract worth $2.1 million on Friday. Had Bailey not signed the contract, he would have been forced to miss the entire season, according to Islanders team policy.

    Bailey was a top 10 draft pick by New York in the 2008 NHL entry draft and refused to sign his tender offer of $850,000 earlier this offseason.

Zach Bogosian

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    Zach Bogosian was apparently not among those rumored to be disinterested in playing up in Winnipeg. The Jets agreed to terms with Bogosian on a two-year contract worth $5 million.

    Bogosian has yet to truly blossom into a top-pairing NHL defenseman, but at just 21 years old, there is plenty of time for him to develop his game.

Luke Schenn

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    Toronto Maple Leafs fans breathed a collective sigh of relief on Friday when 21-year-old defenseman Luke Schenn signed a contract that will make him a Leaf for the next five seasons. The contract is worth a total of $18 million and carries an annual cap hit of $3.5 million.

    Schenn was the fifth overall pick in the 2008 NHL entry draft and has since progressed into a very reliable defenseman for the Maple Leafs. If Schenn continues to progress at this pace, his $3.5 million cap hit will be a huge bargain. 

Kyle Turris

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    The Phoenix Coyotes opened up training camp on Friday without Kyle Turris. Turris, 22, is still holding out for a new contract after refusing to sign his tender offer at the beginning of the offseason.

    Turris is seeking a three-year contract worth roughly $4 million per season. Coyotes general manager Don Maloney thinks the third overall pick in the 2007 NHL draft is being unreasonable.

    This could be a lengthy holdout in Phoenix. Turris scored only 25 points a season ago, so I'm not sure who exactly he thinks he is.

Drew Doughty

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    Drew Doughty's contract holdout has been the saga of the 2011 NHL offseason. Doughty and the Kings have been reasonably far apart all offseason, and there does not appear to be an end in sight for a deal.

    Doughty wants to be made the Kings' highest paid player, but he rejected a deal similar to the one Anze Kopitar is currently signed to.

    The Kings opened up training camp without Doughty this weekend, and the club is starting to plan for life without him. Part of me thinks a deal will get done, but I wonder why has taken this long to begin with. There is no good reason for the Kings to pay Doughty more than the $6.8 million per season that he has already declined. 

    This holdout could extend into the regular season.

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