NHL Free Agency: What Drew Doughty’s Signing Means for San Jose Sharks

September 30th, 2011 by MJ Kasprzak Leave a reply »
According to a report by The Hockey News, Drew Doughty has signed an eight-year, $56 million contract to stay with with the Los Angeles Kings.

This was both expected and needed for the Kings to move from playoff contender to conference contender. In a detailed ranking of NHL blue lines, his presence was necessary to make them top-10.

With Jack Johnson already in camp, L.A. now possesses a blue line that has one of the top four one-two punches at the top of the unit (along with Chicago, Nashville and San Jose). They have great support with Rob Scuderi, Willie Mitchell, Matt Greene and Alec Martinez.

With a top-three goalie rotation (behind Boston and Vancouver) already in the fold and an upgrade at the forward position placing them easily in the top 10, the Kings now have more balance than at any point in their franchise history.

That certainly will make things difficult for their in-state division rival, the San Jose Sharks. But just how difficult?

The two teams are neck-and-neck at forward now that the Sharks lost a little in the offseason, but the edge still has to go to San Jose.

Joe Thornton and Anze Kopitar ...

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