Five possible landing spots if Doan leaves Phoenix
While free agent Shane Doan stays busy fielding contract offers and visiting teams, Greg Jamison, the prospective owner of the Phoenix Coyotes, is still trying to finalize an agreement to purchase the team from the National Hockey League.
Shane Doan scored 22 goals and 50 points last season, giving him 788 points in 1,198 games with the Coyotes, the only organization he's played with during his career. (Getty Images)
Since Doan, who has played his whole career with the Phoenix franchise, has tied his future in the desert to Jamison's ability to finalize a deal for the Coyotes, he remains the most coveted unrestricted free agent still on the market.
The question is for how much longer?
"I've made no bones about the fact that I want to go back to Phoenix if the situation works out," Doan, 35, said earlier this month while in New York attending the collective bargaining negotiations between the NHL and the National Hockey League Players' Association. "I understand at some point I'll have to probably make a decision without knowing all the information, but until I get as much information as I can, I'm going to try to wait."
Doan's patience appears to be waning.
Jamison still hasn't secured the team and it remains unclear when, or even if, he will. Meanwhile, Doan, who has played in Phoenix since the team arrived in 1996, has a wife and four school-aged children to consider, and if he is going to start playing in a new city, he wants to get them settled as soon as possible.
If Doan decides to leave Phoenix, here are the five teams he seriously should consider and why:
Why Doan should sign: The Canucks have a veteran team still hungry to win the Stanley Cup. Doan is a veteran player still hungry to win the Cup.
Center - VAN
GOALS: 22 | ASST: 27 | PTS: 49
SOG: 222 | +/-: 11
Why it would work: The Canucks need size, and Doan, who is 6-foot-1 and 223 pounds, would give it to them, as well as a necessary upgrade to their top-six group of forwards. Once Ryan Kesler is healthy again after rehabilitating from shoulder surgery, he could be the perfect center for Doan as both are big, physical skaters who play 200-foot games and go hard after the puck.
Doan also would give a veteran group an extra leader in the dressing room and on the ice. Plus the Canucks would like to get tougher and Doan isn't going to get pushed around -- that's for sure.
Why Doan should sign: The Flyers have a history of success and an organizational philosophy to win at all costs.
Why Doan should sign: The defending Stanley Cup champions are only at the beginning of what could be a long run of success.
Why it would work: The Kings are in an enviable position here because they don't exactly need a player like Doan -- certainly not after rolling through the playoffs on the way to the franchise's first Stanley Cup championship. However, the last thing the Kings want to do is rely on using the same 12 forwards and four lines that were in sync and clicking throughout most of the playoffs.
It worked in the postseason, but this is the same team that finished eighth in the Western Conference and barely made the postseason.
Doan would give the Kings a jolt while adding veteran leadership and unique knowledge of the Pacific Division. Plus, his presence would put pressure on Justin Williams and Dustin Penner to have great training camps in order to keep their spots as top-six forwards.
Why it would work: Crosby makes just about any player on his line better, but Doan, with his size and ability, would be a natural fit with No. 87, who as of now likely would be lined up with Pascal Dupuis and perhaps Matt Cooke. Doan, certainly adept at creating offense and putting the puck in the net, would give Crosby a reliable outlet. He also would serve as a protector of sorts.
Steve Sullivan, who played left wing with Crosby late last season, signed with Phoenix. If the Penguins sign Doan, it's like trading Sullivan for Doan. Even though the difference in salary between the two likely will be several million dollars, no team would turn down a Sullivan-for-Doan trade -- and that's not a knock on Sullivan.
Why Doan should sign: He wants to win the Stanley Cup and the Rangers are built to win now.
Until Gaborik returns, the Rangers could field a top line of Nash with Brad Richards and Doan and a second line of Kreider with Stepan and Callahan. Once Gaborik is back, it's possible Callahan, the Rangers' captain, would get pushed to the third line.
All this might not matter because coach John Tortorella has a habit of constantly juggling his lines, but there's no denying Doan would fit on the Rangers and make them even better than they are right now -- and right now they're a legitimate Stanley Cup contender.