Defensemen Rob Scuderi and Jack Johnson along with head coach Terry Murray talked about the absence of one Drew Doughty yesterday at the opening of training camp. Although all three admit that the acknowledge his lack of presence, they do realize that they must go forward with business at hand and so far, that's just what they're doing.
Terry Murray was honest with his feelings about Doughty when talking to Rich Hammond of LAKingsInsider when he said, "We’re going to miss Doughty. I wish he was here to be a part of it. He’s a very important player. He’s a big part of the locker room and he’s a fun guy to be around. He’s a great player for us." With that said, however, Murray and his staff are not going to dwell on the situation, especially with it being out of their control. He went on to tell Hammond, "the plan does not change for the training camp. We have to get ready for the start of the year."
The veteran defenseman Scuderi told Rich Hammond, “Obviously we all realize that he’s not around, and it would be nice to have him here, but at this time of the season I think everyone has their own kinks to work out, so no one is really concerned about Drew and his business." Scuderi is not only a valuable asset on the ice but off the ice as well with his positive (not to mention realistic) attitude, which certainly comes in handy in a situation like this. For that, Scuderi's take certainly does not disappoint.
As for Jack Johnson, like Murray and Scuderi in particular, he knows that what Doughty and the Kings are going through is the business side of the game, which he fully acknowledges is just the business side of things that has to get done. Johnson, however, did go on to say that he would negotiate Doughty's contract for him. Whether he was serious or not is obviously a different story but being that the Indianapolis native worked out his new seven-year, $30.5 million deal without an agent, some should figure that jumping in to help in the negotiations between Doughty and the Kings will be a viable option.
For those of you hoping for the latter, however, don't hold your breath as Johnson went on to tell Rich Hammond regarding the negotiations, "It’s totally between him and his agent and Kings management.”
Despite new faces at camp yesterday, it was evident that the Doughty situation was front-and-center. Of course, that's not to take anything away from the former. After all, that is just as, if not more, important. The Kings, however, just got through their first day of training camp so there will be plenty of time to discuss everything else. In fact, captain Dustin Brown has already talked about adjusting to some of the new faces but more on that later.
So, although everyone at Kings' camp is fully aware that #8 is not there, they're all taking the right approach, assuming Murray, Scuderi and Johnson are any indication. Again, yesterday was only the first day so a lot can change in the coming days so we'll have to see just how crucial the absence of Drew Doughty will be. As of now, though, it's a case of focusing on who is at camp and not who isn't.