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Over The Boards

Mailbag: Golden Knights options with UFAs, looking at Shane Doan's future's Dan Rosen answers weekly questions

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / Senior Writer

Here is the June 21 edition of Dan Rosen's weekly mailbag, which will run periodically during the offseason. If you have a question, tweet it to @drosennhl and use #OvertheBoards.


Would the Vegas Golden Knights take a chance on players like T.J. Oshie, Joe Thornton or other UFAs? How would that process exactly work? -- @bloodfury96

The quick answer is yes, but I don't think they'll do it in the NHL Expansion Draft. They could if they wanted to by selecting an unprotected player who is a pending unrestricted free agent, like Oshie or Thornton. There are plenty available. Doing that would give the Golden Knights the rights to that player and the ability to sign him before he technically becomes a UFA on July 1. They can also wait to sign UFAs when the market opens July 1. That's the option they'll take with a bigger name. It doesn't make much sense for them to take a bigger name in the expansion draft because the odds of that player giving up his UFA rights to sign with an expansion team are slim. Why would Oshie sign with Vegas before he can go through the interview process with other teams to figure out what his market value is and then play that off of other teams to raise the price? It wouldn't make sense from a business standpoint. He'd be cutting off his leverage.

Video: WSH@PIT, Gm6: Oshie finishes tic-tac-toe PPG


If you're Vegas general manager George McPhee, do you take Philipp Grubauer or Nate Schmidt? -- @CapsYapp

Grubauer. No-brainer.

I like Schmidt, but Grubauer has a chance to be a good No. 1 goalie and Vegas can get him for nothing. That's huge. I did an expansion mock draft and had Vegas selecting Grubauer from the Washington Capitals. I also had them getting Marc-Andre Fleury from the Pittsburgh Penguins. I can see Grubauer being the backup to Fleury next season, pushing him for starts and then competing for the No. 1 job in 2018-19, when Fleury will be in the last year of his contract. Then Grubauer, if all goes to plan, takes over as the No. 1 goalie. Schmidt can't offer Vegas that kind of potential.

Video: WSH@BOS: Grubauer snags wrister, freezes the puck


How do you think the Arizona Coyotes handled the Shane Doan situation? -- @hockeybarbie

They handled it fine. It obviously would have been a lot easier and smoother if Doan didn't have an interest in playing next season, but he does so the Coyotes had to make a decision and they opted not to re-sign him. Maybe they could have leaked it to his agent to soften the blow. Maybe they could have brought him into the team office instead of a public place like a restaurant to break the news, as The Arizona Republic reported they did. But I just don't know that there is a right way or a good way to do this. I do know the wrong way to do it would be to let it linger, let Doan cling to the potential of returning for another season, string him along and then decide to go in a different direction after the free-agent market opens. By doing it this way, telling Doan on Saturday and then announcing it Monday, the Coyotes let the other 30 teams know Doan was available and gave Doan the chance to process the decision and work with his agent to gauge interest from other teams. Now Doan and his agent can take their time to make a decision. In the end, he could decide that he doesn't want to play. The Coyotes reportedly have offered him a job. I understand fans are upset and feel Doan should be treated better, but breakups in sports are difficult, especially when they involve franchise players. Fans romanticize how this should be done, but very rarely does it go smoothly. Look at Daniel Alfredsson and the Ottawa Senators, Martin St. Louis and the Tampa Bay Lightning and Mike Modano and the Dallas Stars. All made amends, but the breakups were hard.


Do you see the Edmonton Oilers as a potential spot for Doan if he chooses to continue his playing career? -- @not1not2not3not

Yes. I think Edmonton or the Calgary Flames would be a sweet spot for Doan, and his experience could benefit either team. Can't you see it now, the Oilers winning the Stanley Cup and Connor McDavid handing it to Doan just like Joe Sakic handed it to Ray Bourque in 2001? That would be a heck of a moment. But let's put the romance aside and focus on the details. The Oilers and Flames could use Doan on the fourth line. He could be scratched on occasion too. He could move up if there are injuries. He wouldn't be expensive. And he would be playing in his native Alberta. If it were with Calgary, he'd be reunited with goalie Mike Smith, a good friend and former teammate in Arizona. There is a lot to like about each scenario.

Does it make sense for the New Jersey Devils to go after Kevin Shattenkirk or do they keep rebuilding for another year or two before going for a big free agent? -- @spudsusa27

I say go after him now, and in two years he could be a 30-year-old defenseman who is a big part of a team that is ready to contend. The Devils aren't close now, but they need players to get them close. Shattenkirk is a good fit for them, especially with his ability on the power play. They don't have a lot of players to trade for a top-pair defenseman and there aren't many who show up in free agency anymore. And, yes, I think Shattenkirk is a top-pair defenseman. He skates well. He moves the puck well. He is an excellent passer. He has a good shot. He will occasionally be a liability defensively, but you could say the same about Kris Letang and Erik Karlsson. Shattenkirk isn't as good as those two, but he's very good and he would be a good fit in New Jersey.

Video: WSH@PIT, Gm3: Shattenkirk nets PPG for OT win


If the New York Rangers somehow don't sign Shattenkirk, who should they go after in free agency or via trade? -- @Ant_Moccia27

Justin Faulk or Jacob Trouba.

I've always leaned more toward Faulk. Trouba would cost a lot more, in my opinion. I'm not sure the Rangers would be willing to part with the players it would cost to get them Trouba. Maybe they could get Faulk for Derek Stepan and a draft pick. At first I thought it could cost someone like J.T. Miller or Chris Kreider, but it appears now that Stepan is the player the Rangers could trade. The Carolina Hurricanes need forwards, especially centers. They are deep on defense. This is the one I would explore if I were the Rangers. A right-handed defensemen is New York's most obvious need.

However, I don't think they're going to sign Shattenkirk, who is also a righty. To go back to the answer above, the Rangers are not in the same position as the Devils, who need a No. 1 defenseman and don't have enough depth to trade for one unless they're willing to give up the No. 1 pick in the 2017 NHL Draft presented by adidas, which I would not do. The Rangers have a No. 1 in Ryan McDonagh and they are deep enough to make a trade for a right-handed defenseman who has a lower NHL salary-cap charge and isn't signed for as long as it's going to take to get Shattenkirk under contract.

Video: CAR@PIT: Faulk's shot caroms in off glass, Murray

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