Is Rich Hammond’s Drew Doughty Poll Slanted?

Rich Hammond posted a poll today about Drew Doughty. He asked for the readers’ opinion about the Drew Doughty contract. He gave three choices. Before the poll, he offered us this:

In a season in which expectations and hopes are high for the Kings, how much of an impact would this make? Should the Kings bite the bullet, and give Doughty what he wants, or hold their line and continue the staring contest?

I chuckled when I read this paragraph. Notice that the Kings giving Doughty what he “wants” requires the team to “bite the bullet”, implying an act and taste that is unwelcome while the other option is simply maintaining the status quo, an otherwise painless prospect. There is more to this, but let’s get to the poll. What choices were the readers offered?

Doughty is a ‘franchise player’ and should be paid as such.

A franchise player… in single quotes no less to bring emphasis.

Why is this option conditioned on the reader first concluding that Drew Doughty is a “franchise player”? That term, as it is generally understood, is the player around which the team (“franchise”) is built. This immediately (before we even get to the numbers) puts Drew in a battle for this title against Anze Kopitar. Thus, the reader, if he or she believes Kopitar to be the “franchise player” and not Doughty, will be inclined to stay away from this option, even if he or she believes Drew is worth $7 million (what Rich claims Doughty “potentially wants”). There is more.

Why not simply make the choice – “Pay Doughty $7 million” or “Pay Doughty what he wants.” Why the additional “as such” at the end which requires the reader to confirm, before clicking on this option, payment to Drew consistent with a belief that he is a “franchise player”? The phrasing of this choice bugs me. It’s biased, unintentionally so, as I don’t believe Rich intended it to be as such – pun intended – but it conditions any reader not otherwise persuaded Drew is a franchise player to stay away from it.

The Kings should not increase their offer to Doughty.

What offer is that? The only reference I see to any LA Kings’ offer is in a previous post that states, “The Kings, by all indications, are staying with their internal pledge to not give Doughty more than $6.8 million a year on a long-term contract.”

Is that the offer? “Long term contract” for $6.8 million per season. Is that a 9 year deal? 7? This choice is vague enough to let the reader use his or her own parameter for the “offer” made to Drew Doughty. That could result in individuals forming opinions (and clicking this box) based on incomplete information or, better stated, their own vague perspective of what the offer to Drew has been.

Imagine this choice was instead, “The Kings should not offer Doughty more than $6.8 million under any circumstance”. You see how taking that same vagueness can work the other way? A lot less people would have clicked on this option if it was written this way because now you are using this idea of an “offer”, without stating the length, to make the choice seem unreasonable or extreme.

No strong opinion. I don’t have enough facts to assign blame.

“Strong” opinion? Why does it have to be a lack of “strong” opinion?

“I don’t have enough facts to assign blame.” Why is there a fault component to this choice based on a lack of sufficient facts? You can figure out what this causes a reader to do, right? He or she first has to decide if they have a strong opinion one way or another and if the reader decides he or she does not, they then have to believe themselves uninformed to conclude either side is at fault.

Would it have been that difficult to eliminate all those preset conditions to this choice and simply written, “Undecided”? A nice, objective, one word term that doesn’t come with all the baggage versus taking those who are merely undecided (without regard to strength or fault) and leading them to form an opinion for the sake of participating in the poll?

Again, I don’t believe Rich purposefully did this. However, seeing how he is on the Kings’ payroll, has a large contingency of readers and this poll is intended to get the fan base’s opinion (which can be used for propaganda), I would have liked to see more care in its wording, especially if the goals were reliability, credibility and accuracy.

Categories: L.A. Kings News

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21 replies

  1. You are reading waaay to much into this. It’s just a poll. No hidden meanings, no secret mind games. You need the season to start…fast!

    • Sometimes reading into things is about as productive as masturbating with sandpaper, But in this case I see a definite agenda in something that should be presented without one. Subtly plays a pretty big part in responses from the masses.

      Now to read into any of this as plotted and anything beyond subconscious expression would be like reaching for the sandpaper.

    • You must be bored in Kelowna! GO AWAY!

  2. Enough of this shit.

    Doughty should sign the deal and quit fussing about it. With or without him L.A. is gonna have CLASS. It’s gonna be a CONTENDER. It’s gonna be SOMEBODY.

    So this Ontario brat should just shut up and do what he’s told. The fans, the team’s management, its ownership — these are the people who take the real chances. All Doughty does is risk being crippled for life. A small price to pay for all the pussy and watermelon $6.8 mil/year can buy him. If the sonofabitch can’t appreciate when he’s got a home, a real home — (after nine years we can toss his ass out with the char) — then fuck him and fuck that greedy bastard he’s got for an agent.

  3. I hate to be so pessimistic here but being a Kings fan for 20+ years has taught me that there will always be something that drags the team down.

    I think we’ve crossed zero hour since it is now officially the start of training camp and Doughty should be referred to as a hold out. This will damage the ‘team’ mentality going forward now no matter what happens.

    Doughty has now shown the LA Kings organization and it’s fans that he considers himself more important than the rest of the guys in the locker room. Some may argue that he should place himself first but sitting back and trying to put myself in his situation I would be frustrated not being there for day 1 of camp.

    I guess my best hope is that he signs today and is in camp tomorrow but i’m not holding my breath.

  4. I agree with the above comments that you are reading too deeply into the way the poll questions are stated. I take it as “Yes”, “No” or “I don’t know”. I will concede that he should have stated them differently.

    What is more important is the response. DD is acting like a greedy fucker. And yes, it does have potential to distract the team. I credit DL for sticking to his principles.

  5. As these comments are showing (just like the Hammond Poll), I think the fan base is growing tired of the DD drama. Everyone would agree that he is talented, he had a great first year, but still doesn’t have right to make outlandish demands. In his mind (or in his agent’s mind), DD probably feels he deserves the world, but the fans are realists and when greed is detected on the radar, red flags go up. The overall success of the Kings is what’s important to the fans and now DD is jeopardizing that success by not being part of the team in training camp. This situation (which he is in ABSOLUTE control over) is negatively impacting the TEAM and that’s what, in my opinion, is causing fans to not support DD’s side of the bargaining. As far as the poll’s wording, I think it’s a stretch trying to extract all those hidden meanings.

  6. Remember earlier this summer when the Weber arbitration award came down? Some argued it had nothing to do with Doughty. Had that come back at 7 million, do you think we’d even be having this discussion right now? I think it’s pretty clear now that an award so high made 7 a number to ask for. I partly blame Nashville for being cheap asses. Weber is worth 7, drew is worth 6. But instead we have Weber with a 1 yr contract and he’ll probably scoot after that. And we’re left with a damn mess because DD is being a bitch. 6.8 over 7 years…are we REALLY still arguing over this. Most of the stuff I have read seems to agree: DD is only hurting himself right now.

  7. FUCK EM>>>>FUCK EM!!!!!!!!FUCK EM………

    WE are building a CULTURE here……..a WINNING Culture!!!!!

    The KID that grew up wanting to be a KING…….Wants to play UFA right away

    Mike Richards signed a long term contract to be a FLYER, for a FAIR amount so he could BE a FLYER. He is now a KING, getting paid less than if he would if he had Meehan as an agent, or character like Doughty’s, or signed UFA. Richards fit’s the culture, and he now will get underpaid, to be a KING…….2nd line center, no captain, new teammates…….He is what we are building……Doughty can GO….That’s right….GO. If Richards LOVED his Flyer’s, their fan’s, that city, knowing how hard they’ll be on him, and were on him night after night, and be that captain held accountable. That’s Fuckin Character !!!!! Pay me fair, and I’ll work every night to win Lords Stanley’s Cup.

    May I also mention Simon Gagne, who could of waited and probably would have got 4 to 5 mil.
    BUT, the winning culture is starting to get noticed, and bringing in Richards for the price we were willing to pay, has now shown the league, we mean to WIN, and want winners.
    And, Moreau taking 600k, when he’s worth more. Players want to play for the KINGS now, not just come to the beaches, and rub elbows with actors.

    We had The Great One……and never won the cup, is Drew Doughty better than Gretzky???
    How do you think a guy like Richards see’s DD’s possible holdout, for more money than he’ll see per season for the next 9 years, and he won the same Gold Medal, and led his team to the Stanley Cup Finals that same year. He doesn’t really want to be here….he really wants a payday. Richards and Doughty should be drinking buddies……one night out with Richards and Doughty won’t just fire Meehan, he’ll punch him out.

    We’ve always had to overpay for UFA’s and to keep quality players here, Meehan knows this !!
    But the Culture is growing, and he may be seeing the Rainbow fade in LA. Doughty may be his last jackpot in LA, or Doughty may be another Rob Blake.

  8. I am at the point now to just let him sit until he comes to his senses. This does hurt our chances for the season but I cannot let it ruin the hopes I have for this team. This team is the one I cheer for and DD does not up the whole team, he does however make a big impact and I have not forgotten that. At this point do we have any other options?

    I think DL is doing a great job and yes I am surprised that this statement came out of these slow typing fingers. For once we are not low balling a player or giveing a player way more money than he deserves.

    If this gets resolved I will be happy and if it doesn’t then I hope one of the younger boys are ready to step in at the NHL level.

  9. All polls are slanted in some way, shape, or form. I doubt it was intentional on Hammond’s part. I’d be willing to wager that, with the extensive amount of coverage this signing (lack thereof) as received, that he probably assumed common knowledge of the topic at hand. I mean, at this point everyone has been talking about the 6.8mil/7yr contract offer like it’s definitive.

    This is what it’s come to. Picking apart blog posts about how the readers “feel” about how the contract negotiations might be going.

    …and here I am responding to it. Time to cut myself off.

  10. There are long, mid and short term Kings fans. All long suffered. All searching for the turnaround and a winning culture. All hoping for an end to LA Hockey equivalent of the curse of the goat. And not its all on Doughty’s shoulders.

    IMO that is what Hammond’s poll screams. IMO anything more is way over analyzing the poll.

    “No, not now, not when we are so close after so many years. Don’t care who your are, your not that precious, fuck off!”

    I’ve watched this team for 35 years and with or without Doughty this squad is as good or better then all but perhaps four Kings’ “squad eras” I followed. What’s Doughty going to do, win a cup this year? Doubt it.

    As a fan of the most personable team sport remaining I say if your gonna fuck with your fan base just move on. Go play with assholes like Kovalchuk who can teach at thing or two about hubris and arrogance.

    • “and not its all on Doughty’s shoulders.”
      Should have read
      “and now it all on Doughty’s shoulders”

      “this squad is as good or better then all but perhaps four Kings’ “squad eras”
      should have read:
      “with or without Doughty this squad is equal to or better then the top four Kings’ “squad eras” of the past 35 years”

      Sorry for the rushed post….

      Oh, did he sign yet?

  11. The answer to the headline is, Yes!

  12. Make sure you distinguish between an unintentional slant and the other. Rich probably put that poll together in 2 minutes and didn’t give the words a second thought. In hindsight, he may even agree the choice of words could have been better. That is not Rich’s bias at all. I don’t believe he intended it to bias which is why I said that. I do believe the poll is not very useful though as a result of the words used

    • I’m thinking AEG assigned one of the staff to repeatedly vote for option B

      But reading Lombardi’s statements today it appears the talks are going public.

      • it appears the talks are going public.

        … All from one side, of course. Lombardi’s dealing from strength, obviously, and he’s going to press that advantage. The vast majority of fans are going to take management’s side on this, and turn on Drew for not obeying “Massa Dean” and whatever the plantation or the plantation’s fans thinks is best for him.

        • Or, you know, it could be that we all care more about the KINGS than we do about DREW DOUGHTY. Funny concept that, putting the team before the individual. Someone should make a cliche phrase about that.


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