LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The Los Angeles Kings have reached a verbal agreement on a multi-year contract with restricted free agent defenseman Drew Doughty.
Financial terms of the deal announced on the team website were not released, however, the Los Angeles Times reported the agreement to keep Doughty as a Kings player was worth $56 million over eight years.
"Look, he's a special kid and he's a good kid. These things are never easy and sometimes people take them personally, but I think he's going to be fine. I guarantee you we're fine," Kings governor Tim Leiweke told LA Kings Insider Rich Hammond.
"I'm happy that we got it done."
The Kings open the regular season in Stockholm, Sweden on October 7 against the New York Rangers and Doughty is expected to be in the line-up after finally reaching a deal following some lengthy negotiations.
"I definitely didn't want to miss that," Doughty told the league's official website, NHL.com.
"This was never in mind, even being out for this long at all, but I knew I had to be there for the start of the season.
"I missed the boys a lot and missed being in LA, this just felt like time to get it done and I'm really happy and really excited."
In 2010, the 21-year-old Doughty was a finalist for the Norris Trophy awarded to the NHL's best defenseman, was named a Second Team All-Star and won a gold medal with Team Canada at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
In three NHL seasons with the Kings, Doughty has scored 33 goals and amassed 126 points in 239 games.
(Reporting by Mike Mouat in Windsor, Ontario; Editing by John O'Brien; To comment on this story email email@example.com)