December 2, 2017 | 10:15pm ET



Drew Doughty, defenceman


The Los Angeles Kings know how important star defenseman Drew Doughty is to their franchise and that’s why they’ll make it a priority to get him locked up to a long-term contract extension when the time comes.

Doughty, 27, has one-year left on his contract beyond this season and will earn $7.65 million in salary next season, though his annual salary cap hit is $7 million.

In an interview with The Athletic earlier this week, Doughty indicated that he believes he and fellow star defenseman Erik Karlsson of the Ottawa Senators, who has a $6.5 million salary cap hit, “deserve quite a bit more than” what Nashville Predators blueliner P.K. Subban is making, which is an average of $9 million per season.

During Saturday night’s “Headlines” segment on Hockey Night in Canada, Nick Kypreos indicated that “Kings management had no issues whatsoever” with Doughty’s comments and reiterated “their priority is to make an offer as early as July 1st.”

Kypreos believes Doughty will make more than $10 million on his next contract, and providing his ask isn’t significantly higher than that, the Kings are likely to oblige.

Multiple sources close to the Kings organization have told TFP over the last several weeks they are without a doubt prioritizing the importance of signing Doughty to a long-term contract extension, presumably an eight-year deal, once they’re able to do so, and are not concerned with the comments Doughty has made in recent months over where he may end up in the future.

In 27 games with the Kings so far this season, Doughty has registered four goals and 15 assists for 19 points, which puts him on pace for the second-highest point total (57) of his career. He tallied 59 points (16 goals and 43 assists) with the Kings in 2009-10.