NHL Speculation: Ranking Best Landing Spots for Shane Doan
Shane Doan is one of the biggest pieces remaining in free agency this offseason. The 35-year-old is coming off a 50-point season and is now entering his 17th-year in the league.
After playing his first 16 seasons in Phoenix, Doan wants to test the free agent market looking to find the team that will help him win his first Stanley Cup.
The biggest choice Doan must make is whether to leave his beloved Coyotes. If he does, what team could provide the skill, pedigree and security necessary to land one of the best free agents remaining?
With countless rumors and offers flying wild, here are the seven best landing spots for Doan's services next season.
No. 7 New York Rangers
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Believe it or not, the New York Rangers are still a player in the Doan sweepstakes and would be quite a good fit for the 35-year-old forward.
With Marian Gaborik out until at least December, the Rangers will need scoring depth next season. Doan scored 22 goals last season and has tallied over 50 points in the past nine seasons.
Plus, Doan's contribution on the power-play scoring should pay dividends for a team that finished 23rd in the league last season.
Doan adds physicality, intelligence and an added dimension offensively that should push the Rangers over-the-top in the Eastern Conference.
No. 6 Vancouver Canucks
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The Vancouver Canucks will not only fit Doan's needs to stay close to home and play for a good contender but they can offer extra incentives outside the ice.
Doan would fit well with the Sedin twins, who are always looking for secondary scoring options to complement their high scoring offense. Where Doan would be extremely valuable is his power play scoring, a department that plagued the Canucks in the playoffs against the Los Angeles Kings.
The extra incentives that Vancouver offers for Doan are not game related. His wife, Andrea, is from Kamloops, Canada, and Shane is a part owner of the WHL’s Blazers, who play in Vancouver four times each season.
The Canucks also have history with Doan, assistant GM Laurence Gilman has a relationship with him dating back to his days in Phoenix. All these options, although not all strategy related, would make Vancouver a great destination for Doan.
No. 5 Phoenix Coyotes
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Home discount anyone?
Shane Doan has spent his entire 16-year career in Phoenix and conventional wisdom says that he will not go anywhere. Doan loves Phoenix and has played through the dog years and the last few decent season without any note worthy complaints.
Now at 35-years old, Doan wants to win a championship and Phoenix made the Western Conference Finals last season. The bad news for Phoenix is that Ray Whitney left town for Dallas and Raffi Torres will be suspended for eight games to start the season, which makes the Coyotes a playoff competitor but not the same team as last season.
Purely based on fit and ability to win, Phoenix is not the best option for Shane Doan's services. Coyotes fans must pray that Doan wants to finish his career where he started or else he will be switching teams this offseason.
No. 4 Pittsburgh Penguins
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The Pittsburgh Penguins need veteran leadership and the 35-year old Doan would provide excellent experience and play making to an already dangerous team.
Doan plays excellent power-play defense, something that plagued the Penguins in the playoffs last year. Having a tough nosed, physical player like Doan would help fill one of the strongest deficiencies on the Penguins roster.
After losing out on the Zach Parise sweepstakes, expect the Penguins to pay top-dollar for Doan's services, which could entice one of the top remaining free agents on the market.
No. 3 Detroit Red Wings
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Shane Doan would be the perfect veteran to fill the leadership role that Nicklas Lidstrom owned last season.
Detroit offers Doan championship pedigree and a passionate fan base, something he did not have in Phoenix. The issue for Detroit is going to be convincing Doan to leave his family and move to a team that he is not familiar with.
If Doan can conquer these issues, he would fit well for the second line on the highest scoring team in the Western Conference from a season ago.
Doan would immediately make contributions to the Red Wings power play which converted on 16.1 percent of the time, ranking 22nd in the league.
While in Phoenix last season, Doan scored five power play goals while adding nine assists. The season previous he scored 11 goals, proving that Doan even at 35-years old can still help the Wings power play unit.
The Wings may not be the title contenders they used to, but the championship pedigree, unwavering support and immediate impact for the roster could give Detroit a great bargaining chip to attract Doan's services.
No. 2 San Jose
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The San Jose Sharks have a very experienced roster and would love to add another piece to complement their strong but not necessarily deep offense. Shane Doan would fit wonderfully in San Jose playing alongside Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau on the front line.
This move would help complete San Jose by allowing Martin Havlat to play more time on the second line. Havlat, Logan Couture and Patrick Marleau would be one of the largest and most potent units in the league. If Doan wants to make an immediate impact for a winning franchise, the San Jose Sharks are the place for him.
The Sharks are relatively close to home for Doan and would offer him the opportunity to victimize his home-town Coyotes six times a season, something he would love.
Expect the Sharks to make a hard sell to Doan based on his fit in the system. It also helps that the Sharks and Doan's agent have expressed mutual interest in making a deal earlier this offseason which is always valuable in getting a deal done.
No. 1 Los Angeles Kings
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The defending Stanley Cup Champions have all the fire power and ability to attract Shane Doan's services. If Doan wants to play for a winner and a team close to his home, Los Angeles is the place for him.
Strategically, Doan would slide right in to the Kings lineup as a second-line and possibly even third-line forward. The Kings first line of Dustin Brown, Anze Kopitar and Justin Williams will not change, while the second line of Dustin Penner, Mike Richards and Jeff Carter is quite explosive.
Either way, Doan would make an immediate impact for one of the most balanced teams in the NHL. The biggest issue for Doan would be meshing with defensemen Drew Doughty. Do not fear however, having the chance to play for his first ring would settle any drama between Doan and Doughty.
The Kings have a championship roster, plenty of cap space for next season and are located closely to Phoenix to appease his family concerns, making LA the perfect landing spot for Doan.