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Doughty signs eight-year extension with Kings

Defenseman under contract through 2026-27 with $88 million deal

by Mike Battaglino / Staff Writer

Drew Doughty signed an eight-year, $88 million contract extension with the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday. The contract has an average annual value of $11 million.

"I've been in L.A. for already 10 years now, and everything about being in L.A. is just amazing," Doughty said. "Obviously, the hockey organization is top class, but being able to live there, California, you kind of get to live your own life. I'm building a new house there and ready to start my family there. I'm getting married this summer. Love being in L.A. ... it's amazing driving to the rink and nice weather every day. It just makes you want to be there more, and that was definitely a factor in re-signing there. I never wanted to leave there, to be honest."

The 28-year-old has one season remaining on an existing eight-year contract and will be signed through the 2026-27 NHL season. He could have become an unrestricted free agent after this season.

Video: Drew Doughty signs long-term with the Kings

He had 60 points (10 goals, 50 assists) in 82 games this season and no points in three games in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Doughty, who has not missed a regular-season game in the past four seasons, led the NHL in total ice time (2,200:31) for the third time in four seasons and was first in ice time per game (26:50) in 2017-18.

"Drew Doughty is one of the best defensemen in the world and we are obviously excited to have reached this point in the process in which he has committed to the Kings long term," Los Angeles general manager Rob Blake said. "This is great news for our organization and our fans.

"One of the best defensemen in the League. Durability-wise and production-wise and performance-wise, he's one of the best that I have ever seen. Two Stanley Cups with this organization. He was a priority from Day One to get signed and we're fortunate to keep him in this organization."

The Kings qualified for the Stanley Cup Playoffs as the second wild card in the Western Conference under first-year coach John Stevens and were swept by the Vegas Golden Knights in the Western Conference First Round.

Video: Elliotte Friedman discusses Doughty's deal, Capitals

"Rob and [Kings president] Luc [Robitaille], they made it right away apparent to me from the start of the season we're here to win. We're not here to rebuild," Doughty said. "We're going to try to continue to move pieces around and have good draft picks, develop our prospects, and make a better team. ... They told me they are going to do whatever it takes to get back to that winning team we used to have back in the day. Once they told me that, I knew I was signing in L.A. for the entire season."

Doughty took the unusual step of negotiating his own contract.

"I had talked to Drew a few times and he had always instructed me to hold on, and then he called me during the [NHL] Draft and said, 'Listen, just deal with me directly,'" Blake said. "So we started that negotiation Monday or Tuesday. It wasn't really odd in the sense that I think we both had the same idea to get accomplished. We both wanted to get a deal done, and it wasn't a difficult process this week. They were good conversations. He kind of knew what he was looking for and we knew what we could fit in ... when you have two sides that want to accomplish the same thing, things will get done."

Video: Daneyko on Doughty's eight-year extension

The Kings also signed free agent forward Ilya Kovalchuk to a three-year, $18.75 million contract Sunday.

Selected by Los Angeles in the first round (No. 2) of the 2008 NHL Draft, Doughty has 422 points (102 goals, 320 assists) in 770 NHL regular-season games and 51 points (16 goals, 35 assists) in 84 playoff games.

Doughty has won the Stanley Cup twice (2012, 2014), the Norris Trophy as the best defenseman in the NHL in 2016 and was a finalist this season, and has been named a First-Team or Second-Team All-Star three times (2010, 2015, 2016).

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