Doughty won't be happy if Kings don't make big moves in offseason
The defenseman expressed a sense of urgency and cited the Kings' aging core when asked if it's time for the team to add more experience.
"Yeah, for sure. I mean, shit, we gotta," Doughty said Friday. "Me and (Anze Kopitar, Jonathan Quick, and Dustin Brown), we're all getting older. We all had, I thought, phenomenal seasons, but we're running out of time. You've got two of the best players at their position ... both ways ... and with all this cap room, yeah, we've got to bring guys in, that's it.
"There's no point in just waiting for these prospects to develop when you've got guys in their prime, hungry to win, and sick of losing."
Doughty was asked if he'd be happy if big moves aren't made in the offseason. His reply was brief but to the point.
"No," he said.
The Kings went 21-28-7 this season, finishing near the bottom of the league standings. Los Angeles has been rebuilding for the last three campaigns, missing the playoffs each time. The Kings have made only two postseason appearances - losing both first-round series - since claiming their second Stanley Cup championship over a three-year span in 2014.
However, as Doughty noted, the 2021 squad showed some promise. The 31-year-old produced 34 points in 56 games, while Kopitar, who's 33, racked up 50 points while also playing every contest. Brown, the eldest player on the Kings' roster at 36, led the team with 17 goals in 49 games. However, Quick posted a subpar .898 save percentage over 22 contests and was outplayed by 26-year-old Cal Petersen.
Los Angeles has begun to give more opportunities to younger players like Petersen, Adrian Kempe, and 2017 first-round pick Gabriel Vilardi, all of whom have shown flashes of their abilities. The Kings also boast a deep prospect pool led by 2020 second overall pick Quinton Byfield - who debuted with the club this season - and 2019 second-rounder Arthur Kaliyev, who scored in his lone appearance in the league in February.
The Kings finished the season with about $9 million in cap space and could have even more than that this summer if they opt not to re-sign any of their six pending restricted free agents.