Drew Doughty and Erik Karlsson share a lot in common, from their draft year to their status as perennial Norris Trophy contenders, so it’s no surprise they’d be looking to land similar paycheques on the open market. Doughty made it clear that he’ll be consulting Karlsson when the time comes for him to negotiate a new deal when he spoke with The Athletic‘s Craig Custance earlier this week. “I know I’m going to talk to Karlsson back and forth, kind of see what money he’s looking for,” Doughty said. “I’ll kind of look at what money I’m looking for. I don’t know if he’s going to re-sign with Ottawa. I don’t know if I’ll re-sign with L.A. You just never know what’s going to happen.” Both Doughty and Karlsson are scheduled to be free agents following the 2018-19 season, and will therefore be eligible to sign extensions as early as July 1, 2018. According to Sporsnet’s Nick Kypreos, the Los Angeles Kings plan on making their star blue liner a priority. “Kings management had no issues whatsoever when it comes to his comments,” Kypreos said during Saturday’s Headlines segment on Hockey Night in Canada. “Their priority is to make him an offer as early as July 1. The last thing that they want is another distraction, much like we see with the Islanders and (John) Tavares. That’s the one thing that they want to avoid.” Of course, it’ll cost them. Doughty’s current contract, an eight-year, $56-million deal he signed back in 2011, counts for $7 million against the cap. Kypreos said he’s aiming for something even bigger than the $80-million deal Kings captain Anze Kopitar inked in 2016, which could pose some big budget questions for Kings in the near future.
Making sense of Doughty and Karlsson’s contract comments
Sportsnet | Dec 3