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Doughty holdout talk: Harbinger of doom or scare tactic?Jack Ferreira is the special assistant to the general manager for the Los Angeles Kings.

He was also the GM of the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim back in 1997, when star Paul Kariya(notes) held out over a contract squabble before signing a 2-year, $14-million deal. He missed the Ducks' first 32 games, during which Anaheim went 11-15-6 and eventually finished sixth in their division.

So Ferreira knows from holdouts. Which makes this statement about the Kings and unsigned restricted free-agent defenseman Drew Doughty(notes) so intriguing.

From The Press-Enterprise, via Surly and Scribe:

Today's Kings are still at a negotiating stalemate with defenseman Drew Doughty , a restricted free agent. That situation got no easier Wednesday when an arbitrator awarded Nashville's Shea Weber(notes), a more experienced defenseman, $7.5 million for one year.

"This year we were up in Toronto for the scouting combine and Dean had some meetings with Newport Sports (Doughty's agents)," Ferreira said. "He came back and they were discussing what went on, and I just looked at him and said, 'Dean, they don't want to make a deal. They're not ready to make a deal.'

"That's gonna be a tough one. I would not be surprised if he was a holdout. I went through it with Paul Kariya, and Dean's been through it."

Egads.

Holdouts can derail a season for a player and/or a team. They can create animosity between the two sides that lingers beyond the contract resolution. They're generally, and genuinely, bad news.

So hopefully Quisp from Jewels From the Crown is correct in speculating this could be posturing from a Kings executive to exert a little pressure on the Doughty camp. It makes sense. It's also very Dean Lombardi.

L.A. has some very good reasons for excitement heading into camp — the return of Anze Kopitar(notes), the arrival of Mike Richards(notes). Doughty's absence would put a damper on it. Smart money's on the sides getting things done before then.

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