As I write this, it is 4:12am EST on the morning of September 30. I am all packed and headed for the airport that will soon take me to Los Angeles. Only one thing is different now, though: I will not be traveling alone as defenseman Drew Doughty, who it seemed as if he had been without a contract for an eternity, has finally re-signed with the Los Angeles Kings.

 

According to TSN's Bob McKenzie, Doughty signed an eight-year, $56 million deal that will see the blueliner make $7 million annually (putting him ahead of Anze Kopitar in that department). There's certainly a lot of reaction already from Doughty himself, head coach Terry Murray and team president Tim Leiweke.

 

What annoys me is that Doughty will be flying to Los Angeles at 6am EST, whereas my flight isn't until 8:15am EST. Why I couldn't have sacrificed a couple hours of sleep is beyond me but I digress.

 

The bottom line is simple: Doughty is back. It's been a wild summer of "Will he or won't he?", among other questions. So, according to critics like Steve Simmonds and Ryan Lambert to name just a couple, the Los Angeles Kings are "contenders" again and contrary to what the former claimed, #8 couldn't have been feeling that alienated by the club, otherwise why would he re-sign?

 

But there you have it: Drew Doughty has re-signed and is back with the Kings. It's unknown whether he will be ready for Frozen Fury tomorrow night in Las Vegas but all signs indicate that he will be good to go for when the Kings travel to Europe following this weekend.

 

Welcome back, Drew. Now, it's time to start earning your paycheck.