The LA Kings should go all in on Dougie Hamilton

Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports /
2 of 3
LA Kings Drew Doughty
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

The Doughty Factor

Drew Doughty has been the heart, soul, and anchor of the LA Kings defense for over a decade. The 2016 Norris Trophy winner has pretty much done it all in his career, and the Kings rewarded him for that with an eight-year, $88 million contract that will take him all the way through the end of the 2026-27 season.

Doughty will turn thirty-two in December, and he is showing no signs of slowing down – for now. His average time on ice last season was a remarkable 26:23. He will be thirty-seven years old when that $88 million contract expires, so if the Kings want Doughty to remain effective by the end of it, they need to figure out a way to start managing his minutes now. This is where Dougie Hamilton comes in.

At twenty-eight years old, Hamilton is entering the prime of his career. Last season, his ATOI (average time on ice) was 22:43, so he can eat the minutes that will eventually become necessary to get Doughty some rest. Last season, the LA Kings’ other right defensemen, Matt Roy and Sean Walker, had an ATOI of 19:15 and 18:10, respectively.

Both could probably play more minutes if needed, but we don’t know if they would be as effective with a greater workload, and they also don’t bring another factor that Dougie Hamilton brings, which is…