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Doughty open to signing extension with Kings

Norris Trophy finalist can begin negotiations July 1, has one season remaining on contract

by Dan Greenspan / Correspondent

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Drew Doughty would be open to signing a contract extension with the Los Angeles Kings this offseason, he said Friday.

The 28-year-old defenseman and the Kings can begin discussing an extension July 1. Doughty's contract expires after next season.

"I always wanted to be an L.A. King and I want to stay an L.A. King," Doughty said Friday. "I can't remember what day we can start talking, but I'm sure we will when the time comes."

Doughty said in an interview with The Athletic in November that he planned to discuss his value on the open market with Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson, who can also become a free agent at the end of next season. Doughty and Karlsson are represented by Newport Sports Management.

Doughty has one season remaining on an eight-year, $56 million contract (average annual value of $7 million) he signed Sept. 30, 2011.

Kings general manager Rob Blake said Friday that negotiations with Doughty are now the top priority. Los Angeles was eliminated from the Western Conference First Round by the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday.

"I don't think we've ever shied away from that," Blake said. "[Coach] John [Stevens] and Drew and I had a pretty good understanding down the stretch and in the playoffs where our focus needed to be. [With the playoffs over], priority No. 1 is to get Drew signed."

Doughty, who had an NHL career high 60 points (10 goals, 50 assists) this season and is one of three finalists for the Norris Trophy, said he likes where the Kings are headed under president Luc Robitaille. They qualified for the Stanley Cup Playoffs as the first wild card in the Western Conference under first-year coach Stevens before being swept by the Golden Knights.

"Rob Blake and Luc Robitaille, they took this job because they want to win and they want to transform this team into their winning ways again," Doughty said. "Whether or not they do a lot in the offseason, I don't know, but we have these young guys coming up that I think are going to make a difference. I think that shows me how much potential we have in the future and I'm good with it and I'm happy to hopefully re-sign here."

Doughty has played 10 seasons with the Kings since he was selected No. 2 in the 2008 NHL Draft. He was a member of their Stanley Cup championship teams in 2012 and 2014 and won the Norris Trophy as the NHL's top defensemen in 2015-16.

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