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Four summer questions still to be answered

Friday, 07.27.2012 / 5:01 PM / NHL Free Agency 2012

By Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

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Four summer questions still to be answered
While NHL fans now know where Rick Nash and Shea Weber will be playing next season, the fates of Shane Doan, Roberto Luongo and others are among questions remaining unresolved.

The answers to several of the summer questions are in.

Rick Nash is a Ranger. Shea Weber is still with the Predators, and could be for the next 14 seasons. Zach Parise and Ryan Suter are teammates in Minnesota. Adam Oates is now the bench boss in Washington, and Edmonton will be guided by coach Ralph Krueger, who helped convince coveted defenseman Justin Schultz to sign with the Oilers.

Even with all that, the verdict is still pending on at least four more important transactions that could happen between now and when training camps open:

-- Where will Shane Doan sign?

-- Is Bobby Ryan going to be traded, and to which team?

-- When will the Canucks trade Roberto Luongo?

-- Will the Toronto Maple Leafs get a goalie?

Here's our attempt to answer -- or at least dissect -- each question still left on the summer docket:

Shane Doan

Shane Doan
SHANE DOAN
RIGHT Wing - FREE AGENT
GOALS: 22 | ASST: 28 | PTS: 50
SOG: 226 | +/-: -8

Doan wants to return to the Phoenix Coyotes, but the 35-year-old forward also wants the ownership situation to be resolved, or at least be on a path to a resolution, before he commits to the only franchise he has ever known. As he waits for more information on prospective buyer Greg Jamison's bid to purchase the franchise, Doan reportedly has been meeting with other teams.

He met with the Rangers and Flyers when he was in New York for the collective bargaining negotiations between the NHL and the National Hockey League Players' Association. It's also been reported that Doan has a meeting scheduled with the Montreal Canadiens.

Doan said he will probably have to make a decision on his future without knowing all the information on Jamison's bid. He said he is trying to remain patient and thanked the Coyotes and all the other teams interested in him for their patience. However, at some point he will have to make a decision -- and he said he wants it to be sooner rather than later.

The problem for Phoenix is Jamison's bid to purchase the club may be tied up for longer than Doan is willing to wait.

Bobby Ryan

Bobby Ryan
Bobby Ryan
Right Wing - ANA
GOALS: 31 | ASST: 26 | PTS: 57
SOG: 204 | +/-: 1

The Anaheim Ducks forward has expressed his unhappiness and said he is ready to be traded to just about any team in the NHL. Now that Nash is off the market, it may be opening up for Anaheim to pursue teams that could be interested in Ryan, teams that might have had an interest in Nash but struck out.

However, Ryan, a 25-year-old who has scored 30 or more goals in each of the past four seasons, has a soft spot for the Flyers because he is from nearby Cherry Hill, N.J.

The Ducks' asking price reportedly is high for Ryan, who is signed for three more seasons at a $5.1 million salary-cap hit. However, perhaps the Flyers, who have already swung and missed at acquiring Parise, Suter, Weber and Nash, will go all in to acquire Ryan.

Ryan told the Camden Courier-Post in late June that he knows it would be tough to play for the orange-and-black because of the expectations and pressure he would be under. However, he also said Philadelphia would be "a very ideal and comfortable place."

Roberto Luongo

Roberto Luongo
Roberto Luongo
Goalie - VAN
RECORD: 31-14-8
GAA: 2.41 | SVP: 0.919

We know Luongo feels it is time to move on from the Canucks because, well, the writing on the wall suggests that it's Cory Schneider's turn in the nets. Oh, and Luongo said he's ready to move on. We also know that Luongo has ties to South Florida because his wife is from there, her family still lives there, and he built a house there just before he got traded to Vancouver in 2006.

So, yes, going back to the Florida Panthers, Luongo's team from 2000-06, would seem like an attractive option. And Luongo has some control over the situation with his no-trade clause.

However, the Panthers reportedly balked at some of the Canucks' demands in exchange for Luongo. Florida general manager Dale Tallon has restocked the team's system through the NHL Draft in the past two seasons and may be reluctant to change course in pursuit of a goalie. Remember, Luongo is 33 years old and signed for 10 more seasons with more than $40 million owed in the next six, according to CapGeek.com.

If the Panthers, who have been grooming former first-round pick Jacob Markstrom to be their future goalie, opt to stay away from Luongo, the only other teams that appear to be in the market for a top-flight goalie are the Maple Leafs and the Blue Jackets. The Chicago Blackhawks might have interest and Luongo said they intrigue him, but coach Joel Quenneville has given a vote of confidence to Corey Crawford.

Toronto's goaltending

Jonathan Bernier
Jonathan Bernier
Goalie - LAK
RECORD: 5-6-2
GAA: 2.36 | SVP: 0.909

The only change in the Leafs' goaltending this summer is that Jonas Gustavsson is no longer on the depth chart, having signed with the Detroit Red Wings. That leaves James Reimer and Ben Scrivens as the Leafs' 1-2 combo right now. Between them, they have 83 appearances and 38 wins in the NHL. Reimer has 71 of those appearances and 34 of those wins.

Leafs fans will tell you in no uncertain terms that the team simply can't go into the season with Reimer and Scrivens as its goaltenders. It seems obvious from here, too, that a Reimer-Scrivens tandem doesn't exactly spell confidence. However, Leafs general manager Brian Burke said after the draft that he is not going to overpay for a goalie, and at the time that is exactly what he would have had to do.

Fast forward a month and the Leafs reportedly are in the hunt with the focus on Los Angeles Kings backup Jonathan Bernier, who has asked to be traded now that Jonathan Quick has proven he is clearly the No. 1 and will be for a long time.

If it is Bernier, that would go against Burke's claim that he is not all that interested in acquiring an unproven goalie. Luongo would be the proven one who is available, but if the Canucks' asking price is high, as the Panthers say it is, then Burke might not have much interest there. Plus, there is the hurdle of Luongo having to waive his no-trade clause to come to Toronto.

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter: @drosennhl

Quote of the Day

I'm just excited about the opportunity. I've been on the ice earlier than usual and in the weight room, pushing around a little more weights than usual. Every day I go into a workout with a smile on my face and ready to go. When you do have a little more responsibility, you want to take your lunch pail and get ready to work.

— Brian Elliott to Jeremy Rutherford of the Post-Dispatch on being the Blues' No. 1 goalie