It may be a bit premature to talk about Drew Doughty’s future with the LA Kings considering he still has two years left on his current contract and won’t be eligible to become a free agent until after the 2018-19 season. Even with free agency sitting a couple years away, Doughty isn’t shying away from talking about his future and the fact he doesn’t care where he plays as long as he’s winning the Stanley Cup.
As seen over on The Hockey News, Doughty spoke pretty bluntly about his recent time in LA as well as his future with the team.
“My first love will always be LA. 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. Living in Los Angeles, you can’t beat it. I’d love to re-sign in L.A. But if our team isn’t going in the right direction…I want to win Cups. I don’t give a s— where I play. I just want to win Cups, and that’s the bottom line.”
Summarized, Doughty won’t stick around LA if the Kings aren’t a competitor for the Cup and he doesn’t really care where he plays as long as they’re a contender. Doughty has always provided a unique, candid take on his NHL career and that remains true regarding his thoughts about his future with the Kings. How often have you heard a player saying they’ll go to whichever organization is winning?
After winning two Cups in three seasons, the Kings have entered a rough stretch the past three years. They’ve failed to qualify for the playoffs in two of the past three seasons and their appearance in 2015-16 was a first round exit at the hands of the San Jose Sharks. The Kings may not be in the NHL’s basement, but they’re not exactly favorites to make any big noise in 2017-18 either. That uncertain future may be enough to force Doughty to explore other options.
Doughty has loved his time in LA and he made it clear that he would like to stick around, but he’ll only sign an extension if the Kings are on a winning trajectory.