Don’t count on the Los Angeles Kings coming to any kind of deal with Drew Doughty until after the deal with Shea Weber is done. With the arbitration hearing yesterday, the time is drawing near where the two sides will know (at least) what the arbiter believes that Weber is worth. At that point, the Preds will almost certainly be forced to choke down whatever offer comes out.
While part of me hopes the deal is closer to Weber’s proposed number ($8 million) than Nashville’s number ($4.5 million), the more rational part of me thinks that the lower the contract the better for Kings everywhere. If Weber gets slapped with an unrealistic $5 million ruling, Doughty can easily sign something in the range of $6 million for the mid-long term, and be comfortable.
However, if the arbitrator decides that Weber is worth somewhere around $7+ million, we could be in for some trouble. Weber is 4 years older, and has NOT been a Norris Trophy finalist. Even a half-way decent agent can make a compelling case that Doughty should match or exceed Weber’s cap hit. Sure, as fans we can hope Doughty takes a home-team discount, but really, who are we kidding?
So here’s what I’m thinking. The arbitrator comes back with a reasonable $6 million offer. Of course Nashville signs the deal and everyone moves on in Nashville (to NASCAR or something). In Los Angeles, the drama is just beginning. Doughty and agent take another week or so to work out their little bonus, and ultimately Doughty signs for 5-7 years at $7 million annual hit. How it’s spread out is frankly irrelevant to me, so I won’t worry too much about it.
Next question, is that a good deal for the Kings? Let’s say 6 years at $7 million annually. Good deal? Bum deal? What’s your take?