Drew Doughty: 10 Teams That Could Use Him In a Sign-And-Trade Deal
One of the hottest topics in the NHL is the fact that Drew Doughty is still without a contract. Talks with the LA Kings organization have not gone all that well and there are even threats of offer sheets coming from different teams around the league.
Most Kings fans weren't worried in the beginning as the belief was that we were waiting for Nashville's Shea Weber's arbitration hearing for comparison purposes.
We are now in the late stages and if it keeps going like this, Doughty could miss time during the regular season and it is going to be cause for distractions for fans and players alike as all teams are looking to be put together by the beginning of the regular season, which is a short time away.
With all this going on, there is also the possibility that Doughty could be traded to another team and immediately signed, ala Phil Kessel a couple years ago in Toronto.
If that is going to happen, here are ten teams that could make that move and land the former Norris Trophy finalist.
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The Oilers are in the midst of a rebuilding phase and they are definitely interested in Doughty's services.
According to this report, the Oilers are rumored to be putting together an offer sheet for the 21-year old defenseman.
They are looking for him to be a dream fit in the top-2 defensive pairing with Ryan Whitney.
A big move like this may require the Oilers to sacrifice some of the future, such as future first round picks or even an Ales Hemsky.
Doughty on an Oilers squad could mean the difference between a playoff spot and a third consecutive first overall pick in the draft.
The forwards are stacked on this club and there's enough depth to last a while.
There is some maturity that has to come along with it for the young guys. With Ryan Smyth back in Edmonton, you can bet the young guys will only benefit and play better.
Tampa Bay Lightning
The Lightning have made some excellent strides in becoming one of the top-tier teams in the NHL and it started when they drafted Steven Stamkos.
Imagine if they got the second overall pick from that draft in Drew Doughty.
They would have to make a big move in order to secure Doughty's services.
Considering that they probably won't drop to a lottery pick in the next few years (barring a severe injury to some impact players), getting rid of a couple first rounders wouldn't be too bad.
This could also be the time to unload Pavel Kubina, who is in the final year of his contract.
He does have a limited no-trade clause but if he loves Tampa enough, he could sacrifice a year and come back when he is a UFA.
Plus, moving his contract makes enough room to put Doughty under a $7 million contract, higher than what the Kings were offering.
Plus, put him together with a young Victor Hedman or experiment with Mattias Ohlund or Eric Brewer and you have a potent defensive core that could take Tampa Bay to the Stanley Cup.
Detroit Red Wings
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What could Drew Doughty provide for the Detroit Red Wings?
There is no question that Detroit has fallen on tough times since winning the Stanley Cup..
I say "hard times" because we are used to seeing this team in the Conference Final or Stanley Cup Final, not bowing out in two straight Conference Semi-Final series to the San Jose Sharks.
Nicklas Lidstrom isn't going to be around forever and there isn't really anyone on the horizon that could match the pedigree that Lidstrom brings.
Getting Doughty could shore up the defense in Detroit for another 15-20 years. Doughty is from London, Ontario, which is only two hours away from the Motor City.
Most NHL players will tell you, getting the opportunity to play near where you grew up is a dream come true.
The Wings would have to unload a bit of salary to make this happen, notably Brad Stuart, who is in the final year of a four year, $15 million contract.
If all the stars align, Detroit will only get better.
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Long term, Drew Doughty would be a good addition to the Minnesota Wild. They have the salary available.
You always have to upgrade when you are in the Northwest division with the power house Vancouver Canucks.
The money that Doughty is asking for would make him the second highest paid member of the team, behind Dany Heatley.
Getting paired up with the likes of Marek Zidlicky and Nick Schultz could bring the Wild back into the playoffs for the first time in three years.
Three players are scheduled to be a UFA after this season (Greg Zanon, Mike Lundin and Clayton Stoner), so this adds some young blood to the roster.
With the available cap room, the Wild won't have to sacrifice much on the roster but may need to if they want to keep some of their high draft picks and build towards a Stanley Cup.
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In the last couple of years, the Avalanche have gotten much younger but the skill level has been up for discussion.
Obviously the maturity of Matt Duchene, Ryan O'Reilly and rookie Gabriel Landeskog won't come overnight.
Having Doughty locked up long term will shore up any uncertainty on the Colorado back end.
Currently, only two defensemen on the NHL roster is locked up past this season with four qualifying offers needed to be made.
The Avs solved their goaltending situation for the time being by adding Semyon Varlamov and J.S. Giguere.
The next step is on the blue line and Drew Doughty is a great man to start with.
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Another team on the rebuild are the Winnipeg Jets.
They just signed Dustin Byfuglien long term and they also have another young gun in Zach Bogosian, who is on for another two years.
Drew Doughty could very well come north of the border.
Establishing himself in a reemerging market in Winnipeg could make him a super star in town—something that couldn't be done when the Jets were in Atlanta.
There's no more Kovalchuk, no more Heatley and no more Hossa. Atlanta had to send them away but those moves sealed the fate of hockey in Atlanta for the second time.
Now that they are in Winnipeg, getting the star power of Doughty is possible and they have enough room and enough resources like Blake Wheeler and Johnny Oduya.
Not saying that those players are on the outs, ideas are just being thrown out and the idea of Doughty in Canada excites me.
Speaking of a Canadian team...
Toronto Maple Leafs
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Brian Burke has been loading up on defenders for the last couple of years. Why not go after Drew Doughty.
Realistically, paying him more than Dion Phaneuf may slowly drive the Leaf captain out of town.
Adding a defender with the offensive prowess that Doughty possesses can be a huge addition to the Leafs squad.
Burke has said that he is not above flipping some of the players he traded this summer to make his team better.
He could unload Mike Komisarek, who has looked good so far and we all know he has experience with sign-and-trade deals, when he grabbed Phil Kessel from the Boston Bruins.
Quite simply, the Leafs would have the best blue line in the NHL, bar none, if they grab Doughty from the LA Kings.
Think of it like this: Doughty gets traded to Toronto for Komisarek and a couple future draft picks.
Here is what the Leafs blue line could look like below.
Dion Phaneuf-Keith Aulie
Drew Doughty-Luke Schenn
J.M. Liles-Cody Franson
Carl Gunnarsson would be the seventh defenseman.
Though Doughty is on the second pairing here, pairing up with fellow 2008 draft pick and good friend Schenn could make the transition and the situation much easier and more enjoyable.
It would also make sense to pair the two together to play in the World Juniors. Schenn being a defensive defenseman and Doughty, being an offensive defenseman could have amazing results.
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This is another team that was just loaded with veterans a couple years ago.
The Anaheim Ducks still have their fair share of veterans but it seems that the talent is getting younger.
Scott Neidermayer is no longer with the team and guys like Lubomir Visnovsky and Francois Beauchemin still patrol the blue line.
Cam Fowler will need a couple years to fill the role of a top line defenseman.
By picking up Drew Doughty, it could speed up the process. It could make the Ducks way more dangerous in the playoffs.
Doughty would become the highest paid player on the roster, which may not sit well with last year's MVP Corey Perry.
In the end, it is a team effort and a guy like Doughty would help ease the loss of their former captain.
Of course, this deal would need some pixie dust and some magical elements to happen, due to the rivalry.
Anything can happen in the NHL if the price is right.
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This is a team needing a huge rebuild.
The Ottawa Senators may have solved their problems in net with Craig Anderson but there is a lot more work to be done.
There was an article published on how Dean Lombardi went to Ottawa last season and expressed interest in Mike Fisher.
The article speculates on whether or not he would be interested in Jason Spezza.
If he was (and still is), getting Spezza for Doughty could be a huge trade for the Kings, as well as the Senators.
The Sens would shore up their blue line with two world class offensive defensemen in Doughty and Sergei Gonchar.
For the Kings, it gives them a guy that could be a start to a series of trades to replace the skill that Doughty brought to LA.
This would've been good if Dustin Penner left Los Angeles but he has a year left in his contract while Spezza has four years.
Los Angeles could load up at the forward position.
With a blue line led by Jack Johnson and Matt Greene and with two young goaltenders in Jonathan Bernier and Jonathan Quick, LA could be the team to beat in the West.
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Drew Doughty in Montreal would be a Habs fans dream.
They haven't had much to celebrate about on the defensive front.
Most players that become all-stars there end up leaving. Sheldon Souray and Mike Komisarek to name two.
Now, Andrei Markov is under contract long term, and PK Subban will more than likely sign during the upcoming season.
Add Doughty to that mix and Montreal could become a defensive power house. It also adds insurance to the back end, due to Markov's injury problems and could also settle down Subban and help him mature into the game.
Are there other teams not listed that you feel would benefit with Doughty on the roster?
Of course, any team would get better with the addition of Doughty but to make a deal that makes sense for him could be a difficult task.
So are there teams that you feel that have that ability to get him without jeopardizing their future?
What do you think?