2012 NHL Free Agents: Have Hurricanes Made an Offer Shane Doan Can't Refuse?

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2012 NHL Free Agents: Have Hurricanes Made an Offer Shane Doan Can't Refuse?
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It's an offer that blows all others out of the water.

Highly sought-after veteran Shane Doan is set to begin considering offers Monday, and he'll immediately be met with a proposal of jaw-dropping caliber.

For a 36-year-old player, Doan's contract range was expected to be around the two-year mark.

That's not the case.

For an insanely consistent but not overly explosive winger, Doan's cap hit was estimated around the $5 million mark.

That's not the case.

Per John Gambadoro of Sports 620 KTAR Phoenix, the now-fabled proposal has parameters of off-the-charts proportions:

It's a payday that has Ken Holland written all over it. It's a length that has Garth Snow written all over it.

But, shockingly, the offer may not have been hand-delivered from Detroit or Long Island—or Pittsburgh or New York or San Jose, either, for that matter.

Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
Does Hurricanes' GM Jim Rutherford have a huge trick up his sleeve?

Instead, according to reports, it's an offer sent straight from—of all places—Raleigh.

With Jim Rutherford written all over it.

Per an anonymous Twitter source—followed by the likes of Marc Crawford, Dave Molinari and Chip Alexander—the 'Canes might just be the club behind that shocking offer:

If the reports are correct, Doan's four-year contract would carry a whopping $7.5 million cap hit—just over $300,000 short of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter's mark.

The hit would rocket Doan into a tie for ninth place among the league's highest-paid players, above the likes of Jarome Iginla, Pavel Datysuk, Patrick Kane and Daniel Sedin, just to name a few.

It would also be a stunning $3 million raise for the Alberta native, as 36-year-old NHL players are usually not the most likely candidates for that type of payroll increase.

Nonetheless, the Hurricanes have been seeking another first-line winger to play alongside recently-united brothers Jordan and Eric Staal, and certainly have the cap space (over $20 million, to be precise) to handle the load.

They've made attempts at Parise, Rick Nash and Alex Semin and may be pushing hard for Bobby Ryan, but Doan could well be the smartest addition of the bunch—he brings tremendous reliability and experience and, as a UFA, won't cost any assets to acquire.

Which team will sign Doan?

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The solid 6'2", 228 lbs. winger has missed only 38 games over the last 13 straight seasons and has scored at least 18 goals and 49 points every season since 1999; over the past dozen years, he's averaged 25 goals and 60 points per season.

Despite a playing style far less flashy than many of the others on that list, Doan—the Coyotes' current team captain—brings unparalleled consistency, leadership and 1,253 games of NHL experience to the table.

Of course, a number of pitfalls still remain between the 'Canes, Doan and coming to terms on that massive offer.

After all, Doan has waited this far into free agency to sign for one reason alone—the Phoenix Coyotes. If the club's ownership dilemma remains unresolved, Doan has said that he will reluctantly turn elsewhere, but the 15-year Phoenix veteran has made it clear that he hopes to remain in Arizona through the summer.

Further, Doan has also drawn plenty of interest from a plethora of other Cup-contending teams with resumes far more impressive than the Hurricanes'—including bigwigs like San Jose and Vancouver out West.

And moreover, there's also a question of the source legitimacy. @HockeyyInsiderr has also tweeted reports that the New York Rangers made the offer and that the Winnipeg Jets made the offer

Regardless of the real truth to these rumors, though, there's little doubt that it's all systems go for the Carolina Hurricanes in their Doan pursuit.

We'll continue to keep an eye on the news tickers.

Mark Jones has been a Bleacher Report featured columnist since 2009. In that time, he has written more than 405 articles and received over 625,000 reads.

Visit his profile to read more, or follow him on Twitter.

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