We’ll use the same format as we did earlier this week — expectations, reality, and whether it will continue — but add a special fourth category to deal with the possible fallout if the player continues to struggle.
Many moons ago, in a former and more Ann Taylor–filled life, I had a summer internship in the finance world that consisted mostly of the sending of FedExes, the kissing of asses, and the assembling of spreadsheets that would almost immediately become obsolete.
After two weeks of militant training in which I and the rest of the summer analyst class were repeatedly and ominously told to think of our jobs "as a 10-week interview" and instructed to "leverage this opportunity into full-time conversion," I finally got my very first assignment.
The project was straightforward, if time-consuming: My boss had a meeting the following week with some super-rich dude who he hoped would one day become a client, and it was my job to corral the motley dribs and drabs of bank statements, handwritten Post-it notes, and dusty stock certificates the man had shipped over to us into some sort of workable and comprehensive dossier about just how much he was worth. (And, of course, about how we would best "put his money to work.")
As a lifelong goody-two-shoes thrilled by the prospect of being able to finally prove myself with an actual task, I decided I wouldn't leave the office until I'd finished the assignment, which wasn't expected to be completed for a few days. I labored through spreadsheets. I ordered dinner. I anticipated questions and problems and prepared explanations and defenses. I formatted fonts and pasted photos. I went home at 3, showered, and came back at 5. I finished. I felt immensely industrious.
I sat there, exhausted but proud, as my boss — a whip-smart, slicked-back man whose wife would call in every day that summer to complain about the temperature of the pool at the Hamptons house they were renting — came in, sat down at his desk, saw the thick packet I had so speedily slaved over, and smirked.
"Looks like they didn't teach you in training," he said, "how to manage expectations."
It’s been a tough couple of years for 22-year-old Drew Doughty. The Los Angeles Kings defenseman recorded 59 points as an NHL sophomore in 2009-10, establishing himself as a premiere offensive defenseman. But with just 40 points in his 2010-11 campaign and 36 this year, he hasn’t been able to match his initial scoring pace. It’s a failure that juxtaposes badly with his eight-year, $56 million contract, inked a week before the start of this season.
Nobody’s thinking about Doughty’s faults now, though. He’s easily been the top defenseman on the top team in these NHL playoffs.