With Los Angeles Kings players due to report to the team's practice site in El Segundo, Calif., for physicals Friday, it's almost certain restricted free agent defenseman Drew Doughty won't be there.
The Los Angeles Times reported Thursday night that the 21-year-old blueliner remains home in Canada. After physicals Friday, the team will open training camp Saturday.
"We're committed to being engaged in discussions and we're more than willing to talk," Don Meehan, Doughty's agent, told the newspaper. "I think the next step is for the Kings to respond to our correspondence."
Meehan said he had sent correspondence to the Kings on Thursday in response to communication he had received from the club by e-mail and Federal Express.
Kings General Manager Dean Lombardi refused to comment for the newspaper's story. He had said on Sunday that he hadn't given up hope on having Doughty in camp on time.
"I don't know if I expect it, but I have hope," he said, then added that the two sides differ on the length and dollar amount of the contract.
The Kings reportedly have offered Doughty a nine-year deal, while Doughty's desire is for a shorter deal, possibly between six and eight years.
Doughty is considered one of the game's rising blue-line stars. As a 20-year-old second-year player, Doughty had 16 goals and 43 assists, won a gold medal with Canada at the 2010 Olympics and was a Norris Trophy finalist. He suffered a concussion early last season and his numbers slipped to 11 goals and 29 assists in 76 games.
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I'm just excited about the opportunity. I've been on the ice earlier than usual and in the weight room, pushing around a little more weights than usual. Every day I go into a workout with a smile on my face and ready to go. When you do have a little more responsibility, you want to take your lunch pail and get ready to work.
— Brian Elliott to Jeremy Rutherford of the Post-Dispatch on being the Blues' No. 1 goalie