As panic fills the streets of Kings’ fans minds over Shea Weber’s arbitration award of $7.5 million and the potentially devastating impact it may have on Drew Doughty’s contract (impact ranging from “Drew will want $7.5 million!” to “Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God”), let us each take the Lotus Position, shut our eyes and breathe…now, hum from your center the words Dreeeeeeewww…Dreeeeeewww…good. Open your eyes.
Shea Weber received an award of $7.5 million for one season. That makes him literally the highest paid defenseman in the league. For one season. That does not establish “market” value for top defensemen who seek contracts for more than a season, anymore than Surly getting lucky with a hot, drunk, 20 something year old blonde who is angry at her ex boyfriend, on one random night establishes his target market for the rest of his potential scores. It does not “raise” the market value for any player that will enter into a multi-year contract. Only the “market” does that and that market includes other contracts, with specific multi-year terms, for reasonably comparable players at or about the same age. If the years go up, then the cap hit must come down, at least in this circumvention by any other name era. Are any of those in the $7.5 million dollar range? No.
Brian Campbell is an abortion inducing $7.14 million dollar cap hit. I don’t think Campbell’s contract is an example of anything other than one of the dumbest in league history.
Zdeno Chara, age 34, is at $6.9 million. Comparable? I hear he was paid by the inch.
Jay Bouwmeester at $6.68 million: That contract may be an example of how paying too much, too soon may ruin the player. I just turned around to see if Dean Lombardi whispered that in my ear.
No need to go further down the list. Why? Because the LA Kings offered Drew “more than” $6.5 million dollars for 9 years. Therefore, Dean Lombardi has told Don Meehan and Mark Guy he believes Drew’s market value to be at or “more than” (if I recall the article quote correctly) $6.5 million.
Do we really believe any agent can reasonably (the term being relative) affix a bottom line $7.5 million dollar contract demand for mid or long-term years, thereby eclipsing, for all purposes, Shea Weber’s one year arbitration award and making Drew Doughty the highest paid defenseman in the league? The very same Shea Weber that is his team’s leader, has been the picture of consistency for the past three seasons and has played in the league for 6 seasons? That is older and an all around better player today than Drew (not bad for a 2nd round pick, eh?) While Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook have cap hits (though not necessarily present dollars) of less than $6 million?
This Shea Weber?
I don’t believe Drew is looking to make history here, partly because the second to last substantive word we got is that the Kings and Drew had an agreement reached in principle (which, as a reminder to a select few, is not the same thing as a done deal and involves necessary further discussions). Now, fellow writer, Quisp, offers an interesting twist on this. He wrote today that whatever Drew Doughty was asking for, just went up. I will wait to hear from our source on that issue but, as of August 2 at 8:47 am , the word was “very close” and it is in Dean Lombardi’s hands. Quisp better be wrong. If he is right, I will let you know…and then consider beating him up.
Shea Weber is not an indication of Drew Doughty’s market value. He never was. So, relax about Drew Doughty.