After a summer of celebrating and recovering from the Los Angeles Kings’ Stanley Cup run, defenceman Drew Doughty continues to bide his time at home in hopes the NHL season can be salvaged.
Unlike a growing number of his NHL peers, the London, Ont., native has yet to sign overseas during the lockout and plans to remain in North America, but things could change if a resolution isn’t reached in the coming weeks.
“It’s definitely an option … one I might look at in much more depth in a month or so, but for right now I’m content with staying here and not going over there and risk getting injured.”
With talks between the NHL and NHLPA progressing over the past nine days, Doughty remains optimistic an agreement will be reached.
“It’s hard to tell but I really do think so. Even though it may not seem like it I know the owners want to get the game back — they’re losing tons of money there. And I know the players want it back — it’s what we love to do.”
In the meantime, Doughty has been practicing with the OHL’s London Knights and working out to fill time, allowing him to work on his game while recovering from a grueling playoff run.
“We would way rather be back playing in L.A., but it is a blessing in disguise in a little way,” he said. “We get a little bit longer summer — being able to relax and recoup. A long playoff like that takes a toll on your body. You wouldn’t believe how sore we were after that playoff run — guys playing with injuries, doing whatever it takes to win.”
Doughty, 22, also discusses the turning point in the Kings season, the impact of head coach Daryl Sutter and why he struggled at the start of last season.