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08-14-2009, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Captain Ron View Post
I did not say Dean had no right to criticize Kopitar. But if you publicly say he has been getting his ice time cut because of a lack of commitment then it somewhat contradicts the new contract he just signed. That would be like my boss giving me a huge raise while telling me my production is so bad that he needs to cut back my overtime.
Dean's said repeatedly he's not a fan of what this CBA requires in terms of having to make premature commitments to young players before they prove their worth. People have to conform to the "rules" of their environment all the time. It doesn't mean they have to like it.

Kopitar's development is no different from any other players at his age. It just has a spotlight on it because of the amount of money he's making and the expectations that go along with that. He HAS to be the example for every other player on the team. If he's out of shape and getting paid that much, then everyone else will think that's OK. DL has to send a strong message that it's not, and that message gets complicated because of the business environment that DL has to operate within.

I have no doubt that's why DL put the screws to Doughty to get himself in top shape before he even joined the Kings, because when Doughty signs that huge contract at 21 or 22, he doesn't want this fitness issue to come up again since Doughty could easily become the highest paid player on the team and therefore the new example for every young player to strive for.

- T

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