Drew Doughty said he would be willing to stay with the Los Angeles Kings, but the defenseman wants to make sure they return to being Stanley Cup contenders.
"I'd love to re-sign in L.A. But if our team isn't going in the right direction …," Doughty told The Hockey News. "I want to win Cups. I don't give a [darn] where I play. I just want to win Cups, and that's the bottom line."
Doughty, 27, has two years remaining on an eight-year, $56 million contract he signed prior to the 2011-12 season (average annual value of $7 million). He can sign an extension with the Kings starting July 1 or can become an unrestricted free agent following the 2018-19 season.
"My first love will always be L.A.," Doughty said. "It's one of the best organizations in all of sports, not just hockey. It's unbelievable. They treat us first-class, and it's a good place to play."
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The Kings failed to make the Stanley Cup playoffs in two of the past three seasons, after winning the championship twice in three seasons (2012, 2014). The only significant roster move they made this offseason was signing forward Mike Cammalleri to a one-year, $1 million contract.
After missing the playoffs by eight points, the Kings fired coach Darryl Sutter and general manager Dean Lombardi on April 11, replacing them with John Stevens and Rob Blake.
"Dean and Darryl were great for the organization and great for me as a player," Doughty said. "I love them so much. They're awesome. At the same time, it was necessary to make a change.
"Darryl's an awesome coach. He taught me a lot of things as well. But if there is a problem with the team, or if you had a problem with Darryl, you'd be intimidated to go knock on his door and say, 'Hey Darryl, I don't like this,' or 'I don't like that.'"
Doughty won the Norris Trophy in 2015-16 as the best defenseman in the NHL and has played the most minutes in the League in two of the past three seasons. Selected by the Kings with the No. 2 pick in the 2008 NHL Draft, he has 362 points (92 goals, 270 assists) in 668 games. He has not missed a game in the past three seasons and has missed 16 games in his nine NHL seasons.