Doughty Called Kaprizov Overpaid and Paid the Price

AP Photo: Jae C. Hong

When the Minnesota Wild and Los Angeles Kings faced off last night, there was some extra drama between the two teams. That’s because, before the game, Kings defenseman Drew Doughty was asked about defending new NHL sensation, Kirill Kaprizov.

Instead of the classic cookie-cutter answer, Doughty gave his true thoughts on the second year Russian wing, calling him “overpaid”. Kaprizov’s new contract pays him an average salary of $9 million per season with just 57 NHL games under his belt. The deal was unprecedented and it’s likely many of Kirill’s NHL peers feel the same way Doughty does in the clip below.

On the ice

The above video made its way around social media as the game played out on the ice in LA. Most Wild fans would agree that Kaprizov is worth every penny, after watching him emerge last season. The 24-year-old former CSKA Moscow standout looked like an immediate superstar in Minnesota as a rookie and that hasn’t changed two games into his sophomore 2021.

A lot of people were rightfully confused by Doughty’s comments. Although, if there’s one player in the league who knows what it’s like to be overpaid, it’s Doughty. He counts a whopping $11 million against the Los Angeles cap this season, $2M more than Kaprizov.

His production, on the other hand, has fallen off a cliff. Doughty may just be deflecting like a pitiful playground bully who goes home and cries himself to sleep at night.

Other Kings’ players chimed in as well, saying things like “Who?” and “Is that the kid from Minnesota?”, when asked about Kaprizov. If they weren’t familiar with the young Russian before last night, they are now. As has happened most times early in his NHL career, Kaprizov got the last laugh Saturday night.

Kirill had “only” one point in the contest but his assist to Victor Rask was both spectacular and crucial in a close 3-2 Wild victory. The best part though? Doughty was right in front when it happened. As you saw in the graphic above, it was another poor performance from Doughty, which is so unfortunate yet so predictable.

With the win, the Minnesota Wild moved to 2-0 on the season. While the start was best-case scenario, from a record standpoint, neither the Ducks or the Kings are expected to be major players in the Western Conference this season. Now, Kirill Kaprizov and the Wild need to keep the ball rolling in their home opener this Tuesday against the Winnipeg Jets.

Cooper Carlson | Minnesota Sports Fan