NHL Rumors: Toronto Maple Leafs Would Be Wise to Pursue Shane Doan

Jon ReidCorrespondent IIJuly 10, 2012

GLENDALE, AZ - MAY 22:  Shane Doan #19 of the Phoenix Coyotes during Game Five of the Western Conference Finals against the Los Angeles Kings during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Jobing.com Arena on May 22, 2012 in Glendale, Arizona.  The Kings defeated the Coyotes 4-3 in overtime.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

While the 2012 NHL free-agency period hasn't been all that busy for the Toronto Maple Leafs, it looks as though that may change in the coming days or weeks.

A new report from the Toronto Star indicated that the Toronto Maple Leafs are one of a dozen teams that has expressed interest in Shane Doan, and one of their sources claims that the Leafs have been making a strong push for the services of the 35-year-old Alberta native.

If these reports are indeed accurate, Leafs fans should be thoroughly impressed with current GM Brian Burke.

At this stage in the game, nabbing Shane Doan would do a serious amount of good for Toronto Maple Leafs hockey.

Not only would Doan provide an instant upgrade on Toronto's wing for the 2012-13 season, but he'd bring an incredible amount of experience, having tallied over 300 career goals and 470 career assists in nearly 1,200 NHL regular season games.

Doan's 55 career playoff games would also be an asset in Toronto's dressing room.

The fact that he's been a leader for so many years down in the desert is yet another bonus for the Leafs organization.

For those who may be pulling their hair out at the prospect of making yet another move that doesn't address Toronto's need for a No. 1 center or starting netminder, consider the fact that adding Doan would allow Toronto to use another young winger in a prospective trade package to pry away a top-tier center from another club.

No matter how you slice it, Doan would be a great addition to Toronto's current squad.

Another reason the Leafs absolutely must make a strong case to Shane Doan is the fact that many teams around them who also missed the postseason in 2011-12 improved their clubs and will be even tougher to pass this season.

Buffalo added Steve Ott and NHL-ready center Mikhail Grigorenko, all while dumping Derek Roy's salary away (and there is no reason to believe Ryan Miller isn't primed for a much improved 2012-13 campaign).

Tampa Bay solidified its backend by inking free-agent defensemen Matt Carle and Sami Salo and dealing for up-and-coming goalie Anders Lindback.

Carolina has been making a push for every big-name free agent out there. It's shown some interest in Rick Nash and have already traded for and extended young centerman Jordan Staal.

With the way Toronto's Eastern Conference competition has drastically improved this offseason, bringing in a veteran leader like Shane Doan could do no harm.

And you know Brian Burke is anxious to put pen to paper on this one, as he's faced some major heat this summer in hockey's most scrutinized market for his lack of movement.


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