Various social media outlets are reporting that the LA Kings and Drew Doughty have reached a verbal agreement for a new contract. The news broke simultaneously on the team's Facebook page and via several different Twitter accounts, including ESPN.
The Kings have also reported the deal via their official website.
Doughty's signing comes after a long offseason of negotiations and close-but-no-cigar deals. The media had swarmed to the situation after Doughty reportedly turned down a nine-year deal worth more than $60 million dollars.
The 21-year-old defenseman has already been a Norris trophy finalist and is considered one of the cornerstones of a Kings team that figures to contend for the Stanley Cup over the next several years.
There is no official confirmation on term or dollar amount, but TSN's Bob McKenzie wrote on his Twitter account that the deal is for $7 million a year for eight years—a payday that is $500,000 less than what Nashville Predators defenseman Shea Weber was awarded via arbitration earlier this summer.
A $7 million average makes Doughty one of the highest paid defensemen in the NHL, putting him in the same league as Weber, Zdeno Chara and Nicklas Lidstrom. The deal also makes him the highest paid player on the Kings roster.
LA fans can now breathe easy, sit back and get ready to enjoy what should be one of the most outstanding seasons in the history of the franchise.
Update: Doughty took the time to answer a few questions for LA Kings Insider tonight. That transcript can be found here.