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Kings GM Lombardi on Doughty: ‘He’s definitely grown up’

Feb 15, 2013, 12:45 PM EDT

doughty Getty Images

Los Angeles general manager Dean Lombardi recently sat down with LA Kings Insider to discuss all things defense — the injuries on the Kings blueline, the lack of available rearguards across the league and, most interestingly, his own marquee defenseman, Drew Doughty.

Once known for his questionable dedication to fitness (see here and here), Doughty came into this year’s abbreviated training in good shape after hiring a personal trainer to work with him during the lockout.

Here’s what Lombardi had to say:

“What I’m so happy with Drew is that he showed up in shape. When I talk about the growth of these kids, that alone – because Drew two years ago, given those months off, we all saw what he was his first two years pro. That’s the first thing I say. He’s definitely grown up.

“Secondly, look at the minutes he’s playing. He’s still not where he needs to be physically to deal with those minutes. That’ll come. In junior hockey, he played 40 minutes [a night]. Eventually you want him to get there, but he’s playing an awful lot of minutes now, and quite frankly…he wouldn’t be playing those minutes if we were healthy.

“I think with Drew, the thing I’ve noticed, given that he’s started to take care of himself off the ice.”

In an odd twist, Doughty recently spoke with the LA Times about how unhappy he was with his start to the campaign.

“I’m not happy about some things — not scoring points, I haven’t scored a goal yet — it isn’t a good thing,” Doughty told the paper. “Sometimes bounces just don’t go your way. We’re not scoring a lot of even-strength goals.

“And if you’re playing a lot of minutes, pretty much half the game, you’re going to be out there for goals against.”

Doughty has just four assists through 11 games this year but is averaging 27:38 in ice time per game, second in the NHL to former Kings teammate Jack Johnson, who is averaging over 28 a night for the Blue Jackets.

Note: It should be mentioned that, in speaking about Doughty’s offseason, Lombardi made no mention of the sexual assault allegation made against Doughty, or the subsequent investigation.

Though to be fair, the incident might not have required mention, as the LA District Attorney’s office chose not to file charges in mid-July, citing that there wasn’t sufficient evidence to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

  1. ron05342 - Feb 15, 2013 at 12:59 PM

    “Though to be fair, the incident might not have required mention”

    Then why mention it?

    • Mike Halford - Feb 15, 2013 at 1:14 PM

      Writing objectively about Doughty “growing up” during the offeason requires at least a mention of a serious allegation during said offseason, IMO (from our end, not Lombardi or the Kings). Not passing judgement either way, but the incident did occur.

      • ron05342 - Feb 15, 2013 at 3:51 PM

        Mike, the incident did not occur. The D.A. here in Los Angeles said there was not enough evidence to even pursue an indictment and/or charges. And for a politically-aligned D.A. to take as much time as they did to keep Doughty hanging in that fashion and finally conceding the point speaks volumes.

        There was always credibility issues with the witness against him, the same person making the allegations. Multiple credibility issues.

        So no, a one-night stand whereby one person feels used the day after and makes false allegations has nothing to do with “growing up,” “being mature,” or whatever you want to call it. Call it a “lapse in judgement,” if you will, but that’s all it is…”adults” have lapses in judgement every day of the week.

      • Mike Halford - Feb 15, 2013 at 4:00 PM

        To clarify, by incident I meant the allegation and investigation.

        I respect what you’re saying. In this instance, though, I felt the post would be more complete if I was to mention it, rather than not.

  2. kingsforever - Feb 15, 2013 at 6:32 PM

    He wasn’t even CHARGED. That means legally we’re all the same in terms of sexually assaulting people

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