Is The Drew Doughty Impasse Really About Don Meehan’s Ego?

Don Meehan is one of the most successful sports agents out there. In the hockey world, he is “The Don”. He has likely made enough money to last him 5 lavish lifetimes. When you make that kind of money, you sometimes (not always) develop a condition called a “God complex”. That is one who believes themselves omnipotent and, symbolically of course, omnipresent. The ego grows the size of a small state (in Canada, a “province”) but can become perpetually bruised by a pin prick. The balls require a wheelbarrow for travel. Patience and tolerance become nearly non-existent.

Today, we got this beauty from Helene Elliott

The Kings have offered Doughty an average of $6.8 million a year and were open to durations of six to eight years and to putting the 21-year-old defenseman’s average annual salary on a par with first-line center Anze Kopitar, an older and more proven player. But Doughty’s agent, Don Meehan, is believed to be requesting an average of $7 million — and here’s where it gets complicated.

Meehan used to represent Kopitar but lost him as a client to Pat Brisson, another powerful agent whose roster includes Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby. Brisson is a close friend of Luc Robitaille, who is the Kings’ president of business operations. Robitaille had access to Kopitar and could have helped steer Kopitar to Brisson, costing Meehan a high-profile client.

Meehan now wants Doughty, who has enormous talent but has had one good season, one extraordinary season and a bumpy season, to be paid more than Kopitar. That would be a coup for Meehan in recruiting future clients and, some in the industry suggest, an in-your-face to Brisson.

Good stuff. I had previously heard Kopitar left Meehan. I even knew that Robitaille and Brisson were close. What I did not know is what Helene laid out here – that Luc “could have helped” steer Anze away from Don Meehan (in retrospect and coincidentally, thank God?) and The Don’s ego took a beating for which there was bound to be retribution in the form of a fuck you to Brisson, among others…fascinating. If this is true, the plot indeed thickens.

But is this how you do it? If what Helene wrote and theorized is correct, isn’t Don Meehan showing himself draconian and so self diluted so as to disregard his client’s best interests? Then again, isn’t that part of the whole God complex? 

You know who I want to hear from? Mark Guy.



Categories: L.A. Kings News

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50 replies

  1. I just posted this in the comments of the last blog. :)

    Don’t know why Dean is talking to Drew yet. Or Luc.

  2. The plot thickens, indeed. I wish we knew the back story on EVERYTHING that has happened so far. This is worse than a soap opera because I actually give a shit about the outcome. I’m just trying to keep positive about all this. I want the season to start. I want the Kings to win. I want Doughty to remain a King. I want the cup in LA. I want Season Tickets. I want a beer. I guess that’s all I want right now. Well, there are others, but, meh.

  3. “wheelbarrow.” :) Good stuff, other than that.

  4. Me-Han is a scumbag. 7 mil if that is the cap hit is way too high. When he’s 25-26 sure, but at his age a huge overpayment. Say me-Han wanted 5yrs at 7mil per. If DL offered 6yrs at 6.8
    and me-Han balked, that is stupid

  5. I think one major problem with professional sports these days is that agents have become way too powerful.

    What do they even really do?

    The sad part is they get these athletes when they’re young (most of them are literally kids when they first come into contact with these shady agents) and convince them that the only way for them to negotiate a “fair” contract with a team is through the use of an agent. These kids then end up relying too much on what the agents tell them rather than what’s really in their best interest as the one who will be putting their bodies (and minds) on the line day in and day out.

    It perpetuates the belief that athletes are dumb meatheads who can’t conduct their own business. Meanwhile, these agents make a percentage of the athletes’ contracts for doing absolutely nothing.

    It kind of reminds me of a relationship between pimp and prostitute.

    Essentially, the agent is just a glorified pimp selling their clients’ services to the highest bidder. And they profit off of pretending to have their clients’ best interest in heart when all they care about is fattening their coffers and signing the “next big thing.”

  6. Maybe DD is calling Keegan saying “what the fuck is going on Don?” “Chill Drew I’ve git this one handled” I think its safe to assume that DD will not be a King this season unless he grows some balls and tells meehan to take a fucking hike. Everyday he doesn’t show up its costing him money. So if he hasn’t signed yet what makes you tuning he’s gonna sign when the deal is the same and he’s getting docked on a daily basis?

    Is DD really that stupid and spineless?

  7. Shea Weber sacked Meehan a couple of months ago. I wonder why.

  8. Since Dean has opened up, I think it’s only fair that DD should talk. This whole thing seems like a pissing contest between DL, and Meehan.

    DD was confirmed to not be involved with negotiations, and DL confirmed that he would have to get the higher ups approval which confirms their not negotiating either. DL is. 6.8 was varified from DL’s end by various sources, and so was 7, from DD’s end by Hammond. DL has also confirmed that in June neither side wanted a short term contract, but hasn’t confirmed if that is what both sides wanted after July 1rst. Meehan has confirmed nothing.

    Is the difference between 6.8 mill, and 7 mill really the only hold up? If it is, then who is actually doing the negotiating? DL, and Meehan that’s who.

    If DL, and Meehan are willing to sit DD over that chicken scratch difference, than why should Dean and DD talk in person if Dean is willing to put DD’s career on hold just to show up Meehan? No. I would say fire Meehan for advising DD to hold out also, but that would mean starting over with a new agent and a GM who wouldn’t budge, even if it means his best defenseman sits over chicken scratch. Meaning adding on more months of negotiating.

    This is the saddest possible end to the most brilliant off season Dean has ever had as the Kings GM, and an almost sadder ending for a sports agent who should be prioritizing getting his client signed instead of playing chicken with Dean.

    • The difference is 7 years versus 5 years. Not money.

      Drew said it wasn’t about the numbers and he wouldn’t hold out. Why would anyone believe anything he says now?

      • DL said he was confident drew would be in camp, and refuses to budge on something. He’s claiming it’s the 200,000. Even though that sounds stupid to me (if it’s true) if it isn’t true than I wouldn’t trust DL either. What did we offer Brad Richards just a few months ago? All of a sudden 200,000 will break the bank for your best defenseman.

      • Totally agree Sydor25…and when DD does sign…holy shit! By skipping camp etc, he has pissed off some fans. Some will forgive and forget, but some will be waiting for his every mistake. I don’t think DD realizes the pressure he is now putting on himself to perform. Whether it ends up being 5,6,7 or 100 year deal and for 5,6,7,or 10M a season. Either way, the pressure is squarely on his back to be a Norris trophy candidate not only this season, but the remainder of the contract. And if he is not…remember the boo BIRDS that he hated after the fans revolted on the Kings at that disastrous home game? Just wait until he has to hear it every home game when he blows a coverage, gets caught up ice…I just say…DD, you just put yourself in a pressure packed situation the rest of your career in LA until you prove to the fans otherwise by winning a Norris and bringing a Cup to LA. Will the pressure get to him? At 21?…I think so…

    • Even 6.8 is too high. At 7 making him the highest payed player on the team sends a bad message to the other guys and it is really bad for the cap

  9. If you recall, Luc acknowledged Pat Brisson as one of his closest friends in his Hall of Fame speech. It’s a very interesting wrinkle, and one that aids my current theory that Don Meehan is a snake. It’s sad indeed if he feels the need to use an innocent 21 year old kid as both a meal ticket and a revenge mechanism.

    • I agree. I do look at DL as using the revenge mech here a little as well. 7 is a lot, but not when you match it up to 6.8. If it’s years, then DL should come out and said that instead of dancing around it in his speach.

  10. Even if there is no vendetta to get back at Brisson or Lombardi, you still have the pattern of Stamkos and Schenn both coming in for 5 years, and now the insistence on 5 years for Doughty which is enough for me to call that a personal agenda on the part of Don Meehan. He’s decided that’s what is best for “all” of his clients, and isn’t customizing his counsel to fit each situation. Was 5 years really the best thing for an unproven Luke Schenn?

  11. Let me start by saying that yes, Don Meehan is probably an egotistical asshole. I don’t know for sure as I’ve never met the man but I’m willing to assume it given that he’s a high powered agent and well, they’re generally assholes. Is he pushing for a five year deal? Of course he is and he should be, as it’s the best deal for his client under given the circumstances. He’s doing what agents do, and should do, for their clients (and yes, of course, themselves).

    However the Meehan as anti-Christ thing misses the entire point as far as I’m concerned, and the point is that Drew is the only person in this love-hate triangle with any real agency. Unless he is being outright lied to, and you have to think he would figure that out pretty quickly, it sure seems like he is completely on board with Meehan and supports his plans to hold out/not sign.

    I dunno, I’m as pissed as everyone else, but it sure seems like we just shifted from denial (Nah, he’ll sign…) to anger (Find a scapegoat…Meehan!) in the grieving process.

    • See, I’ve been directing my anger towards Meehan all summer. However today officially marks the day where that displeasure gets redirected right at Drew. He is now missing time with his team whereas during the summer, what does he care what the paper trail says.

      • Indeed. My remarks weren’t meant at any one person/poster but rather on a more general level, and I’m pretty much right along with everyone else. I still have hope that Doughty comes to his senses soon enough but if it drags out, well, I guess that’s what makes us Kings fans…

    • Why is a 5 year deal the best thing for Drew Doughty? Just because he goes UFA sooner? That only makes sense if you believe that Drew would rather make top dollar on a loser than simply make amazing money on a Cup contender that just happens to be the team he wants to play for in a city where he enjoys living. Not letting Doughty off the hook at all, just saying I don’t think he knew what he was asking for when he let Meehan off the leash. He has to be realizing it now, I hope.

      • Well, as part of getting the 5 year deal, I would say that while I completely understand what you are saying (and really do agree with you) I think there are several assumptions out there that I find faulty. My thoughts, trying to leave out what I would do if I were Drew (which is sign on the fucking dotted line) are basically this:

        -Everyone assumes that Drew really wants to play in LA, what with the whole Kings phone/posters/etc he had as a kid. It’s a nice story, but he has played in LA…a dream fulfilled perhaps? There are plenty of nice cities to live in when you are making millions of dollars.

        -Everyone assumes that Meehan is hiding info from Doughty, or brainwashing him, etc. But what if, just what if, Drew is kind of a greedy bastard and wants to make a killing, consequences be damned? If that’s the case then he has every reason to aim for a 5 year deal or a salary above 6.8 million for longer term.

        -I don’t necessarily buy the idea that if he did become a UFA in 5 years that he would be perennially locked into a losing team. If he reaches his potential he is a HOF, uber-elite defenseman that you could build a powerhouse around very quickly. Washington/Ovechkin and Pittsburgh/Crosby come to mind when I think of contenders with players who have large cap hits. Obviously Drew isn’t there yet, or close, but in five years?

        Bottom line I guess is that I’m not sold on the idea that Drew is somehow the victim here (not that you were selling that idea in your post). I think if his bottom line was to be in camp by now he would be there, and it worries the bejeezez out of me that he’s not.

    • What are you? Some kinda fucking Communist?

      Here we are, wiping our asses on Meehan, hungering to see him staked out to an anthill with honey poured over hills balls, and along you come with a sober, reasoned, balanced, attitude.

      Well that kinda shit doesn’t work around here, JZ. If you can’t get revved up with a little lynch-mob frenzy, we’re gonna have you arrested as a public nuisance.

      • . . . his balls. Not “hills” balls. HIS balls.

        See what you made me do? All this intelligent penetration is making me go spastic on my keyboard.

      • Hey! I quit the party ten years ago and if I could scan my now defunct Communists of the American United States membership here I would prove it to you!

        *Disclaimer: I now work for Don Meehan as his internet troll, scanning webpages where he is being “lynched” and attempting to divert peoples’ attention.

  12. … This is no more about Don Meehan’s ego than it is about Dean Lombardi’s.

    • Well, I understand what you’re saying as it pertains to the current media dustup as well as past history between those 2. But Meehan’s ego is in play far beyond his specific dealings with Lombardi. I believe he is not serving the full and best interest of his client. An agent should be customizing his approach to the specific client’s situation, not trying to push an agenda that ALL of his RFA clients need to have 5 year deals. Sure, all agents are trying to get the best possible deal, but some understand the concept of win-win. Others, like Meehan, operate like used car salesmen – in a vacuum, with no concern at all for what happens after their client drives off the lot.

      Is 5 years really the best thing for Drew Doughty? I’m not asking Meehan to give half a crap about the Kings, just saying what good is it for Doughty to go UFA the same year as Kopitar IF you believe that his goals are to stay in LA and win a Cup?

  13. The discussion above really is about the behind the scenes dynamic. Drew has chosen this agent. He is an adult. If he is uncomfortable with his agent’s position, well that is Drew’s fuckin’ problem, and he is a pussy if he does not put an end to this. If he is not uncomfortable with this position, well then, he is a greedy asshole. Either way, I blame him.

    Is Drew being manipulated? I have no idea. What I do know, is that “they” are turning down damn good money for a pretty good term. That is not good business. You know, when you are buying something, chances are you can always find it cheaper somewhere else. The converse also applies; if you provide a service, it may be possible to find someone to pay you more. But there reaches a point where it may not be worth it–tangibly and intangibly– to do business elsewhere.

    Drew is not going to make significantly more money anywhere else, at least not now. If his asshole agent manipulates the term so he could make more money later (i.e. maximize his UFA years), will Drew eventually see that money? Nobody knows. The kid may never pan out to be that good, and could end up with his tail between his legs.

    Like many other fans, I grow angrier by the minute about this. When he misses a hip check or fucks up like he has been prone to do, the fans are going to boo that much louder. Drew will continue to be a target for opposing teams also. He certainly won’t get any sympathy from me.

    Fucker.

  14. I love the fact that Jack Johnson sat down with Deano for a few days and hammered out a fair deal. Maybe Drew can use JJ as his agent.

  15. This is still going on due to “the Don’s” desire to both stick it to DL but also be able to try and rub it in the face of everyone who thinks the game should be played differently then the way he says it should be (the agent rep game).

    Luc IS the guy we are having talk to DD as our go between and who knows, there is some friction between DD and DM already so maybe Luc is going to be the guy who moves this whole thing along.

    That said, I also agree that this is starting to show poor decision making on DD’s part and the longer it goes on the more it does so. He lowers his overall value to other GM’s the longer he holds or at least provides them with the ability to tell DD that since he held out they will need a few insurance policies to guard against it happening to them down the road with him.

    The smart decision on DD’s part would have been to follow the example of his representatives and simply demand that they meet his deadline with the deal that they think is supposed to happen. If they don’t meet the deadline (his reps) then you give them a much shorter amount of time to get the best deal possible within a previously agreed upon set of parameters.

    If that doesn’t happen you shake hands and tell “the Don” AND “Mahky Mahk” to go and fuck themselves in their collective bums and properly so.

    Find a rep who you already know will get you the best possible deal and has an excellent track record working with the team (also hasn’t any real enemies around the league) and get to work.

    DD is 21 but at 21 I had a kid and was raising my sister and her kids too and that forced me to make a few pretty life changing decisions. It has all worked out for the best and my point is that while 21 is very young when it comes to life decisions it doesn’t mean that you can’t take the time, think things through and make one.

    Especially in this situation. Make the fucking decision to hire a rep that has a great reputation around the game, meet with him to find out what you feel comfortable with and if he can’t get it for you before the mid point of the summer fire his ass and handle it.

    If you make a bad decision on a 7yr contract and you play well it isn’t like you are going to be fucking broke and a laughing stock who’s career will definitely be over at the end of it. No, instead if you go out and play up to your exceptional potential you will be entering your prime money years when this deal runs out and you can really go out and bend someone over on the next deal.

    This deal is about getting your name on a cup with a team full of people who you will be linked to forever. Make as much money as you reasonably can and then go to work. Once you get your name on the cup (at least once) then when the next deal comes up you will have the kind of reputation that will earn you the enormous dollars.

    Meh!

    Ontarians!

  16. I’m not buying it. Doughty has a mind of his own and has made it clear that he’s all about the money. I don’t begrudge him for wanting to maximize what he’s worth, but I certainly don’t think as high of him as I used to when this team is on the cusp of something very special. It comes down to whether a 3-4% salary differential or an earlier free agent pay day means more to him than the team.

    Meehan is good at what he does, but he is just a mouthpiece for his client. You can’t tell me that Doughty’s first interest is to get to camp on time. Meehan would have been fired by now if that were the case. It’s convenient to throw the guy under the bus who isn’t going to suit up for the team this year.

    The frustration is misdirected if it’s at Meehan. There’s no doubt in my mind that Doughty owns this.

    • DL by that same standard is the owners mouth peice. Is AEG responsible for DL’s decision to draw a hardline on a contract that is only seperated by 200,000 dollars? This is DL, And Meehan having a pissing contest.

      • The Kings have a cap hit to worry about and have to potentially worry about Kopitar and Doughty as free agents the same season. A player doesn’t have the same pressures to think about. It’s an interesting analogy, but I don’t believe it’s a good one. Especially since AEG is going all in the next couple years to win a cup.

        Your assumption that DL and Meehan are in the midst of a pissing contest assumes that Doughty has no control over what happens and that Meehan is not acting 100% in his client’s best interests. There may be some hard feelings between the agent and the GM. I just can’t imagine that personal vendettas will trump professionalism when both of these guys have reputations to worry about. So far I don’t think either of them have operated out of their modus operandi.

        I normally agree with the points you make Dominick, but I don’t think your take is most likely when you look at everything dispassionately. Doughty has the ability to hire and fire. He’s already started losing salary, and he has a very smart agent who has a duty to advise his clients, looking out for their best interests. As an attorney myself, I have known attorneys who have put their own interests ahead of their clients and risked malpractice actions, law suits or disbarment. I doubt that an attorney who has the volume of business and the profile that Meehan has who would be willing to throw it all away for a small percentage due to a grudge.

        It’s hard to want to come to this conclusion as a Kings’ fan since I like Doughty. But Doughty knows what he’s doing, what he’s risking, and it is ultimately his choice to make.

        • That hard salary cap doesn’t add up. If it is about money than fine. DL has stated that he has to notify the owners so that they could make the final decision to back him or not. I would imagine that is exactly the same situation on DD’s side, is my point.

          Also I don’t buy that 200,000 thou is going to make things hard to manage with future salaries. I do see DL deflecting the real issue by stating that both sides wanted a long term deal back in July. Does that mean I think he lied? No. Both sides might have wanted that before July 1rst, but things changed and DL might not be as reasonable as you think.

          If it turns out that moneys not the issue than DL is manipulating everyone into believing it is. So far only Deans side is talking. Even so, the money is a small drop in the bucket considering just 2 months ago we offered more than that to Brad Richards, and DL wasn’t saying it would break us. Hunter might sign, and I gaurentee you that will be more than 200,000, and we have the depth to turn that guy away, but not to add 200,000 thou to DD’s offer.

          Doesn’t add up.

          • Dominick, the difference isn’t just the $200,000 cap hit. It’s the underlining reason for the monetary offer.

            Dean is willing to go as high as $6.8 million on a 7 year deal because Drew would be giving up 3 high-priced years of UFA. He’s willing to over pay now so that he can underpay later. Drew is being paid on potential only at this point.

            Drew is willing to go as low as $7 million on a 5 year deal. This is getting over paid now and only giving up 1 high-priced year of UFA. So, Drew already wants more per year and only gives up 1 UFA year. You may be fine with this, but Dean has an entire team to run and he is all about the culture of winning, not the culture of individuals.

            After 5 years, Drew will get a raise to $8.5+ million, which is what Dean wants to avoid by signing him to a 7 year deal. Which means that he over-pays him now for under paying him later. That is why the 7 year deal is a fair deal, both sides take risks and both sides potentially lose out financially.

            If Dean was to offer a 5 year contract, it would be much closer to a $6 million cap hit, maybe even under. This means that they are closer to be $1 million apart per year on a 5 year deal.

          • That is kind of what my point is about. Years would make sense, but just the money makes no sense which is what DL is suggesting. As near as I can tell, DL refuses to even offer short term, which makes the short term deal impossible. If he’s refusing to even negotiate a short term than DL is the one being hardheaded.

          • Both sides don’t want a short term deal right now. If that changes, I’m sure they will discuss it. Why offer something nobody wants?

          • That isn’t what Dean said though. He said in back in June nobody wanted a short term deal. I believe DD does want one, or at least it makes sense that he would want somewhere around 5 or 6.

  17. As if Meehan and Newport Sports Management doesn’t have enough LA Talent under their wing, They are already getting a hefty sum of the Kings checks. Currently, under their umbrella are Stoll, Richards, Greene, Richardson, Lewis, and Moreau. I think DD should tell Meehan to shove it and go to someone who will get him on the ice.

    If this is about a bruised ego, he (meaning Newport) could have told Richards to go elsewhere and left LA looking for offense somewhere else.

    DD is good.

    7M good? not yet. He should have taken the offer at 6.8M. They left the length up for debate. He could be a King til he is almost 30 with what was initially offered.

    It would have been nice if DL could have talked contracts directly with DD but this agent is that one legal issue that he couldn’t get past. Now the question is, is Meehan even talking with DD about what is being offered? If not, this is the issue.

    Stoll, Greene, and Lewis should go, secretly, to talk with DD about what is being offered to see if he is even being approached.

  18. Great article by Helene:

    http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-elliott-kings-ducks-20110918,0,6215661.column

    In order to avoid a hold out, Bobby Ryan had to negotiate with the Ducks directly. I’m guessing Shenn and Marchand had to do the same this season.

    Doughty needs a better support group. He needs to think for himself and get his ass on a plane to LA to join his teammates. Sign the deal.

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