NHL Free Agency: Top 5 Candidates to Land Shane Doan
Shane Doan will enter his 18th NHL season this year and has spent them all with the Winnipeg Jets/Phoenix Coyotes franchise. It is honestly hard to imagine him playing for any other team, as he has been the face of the Coyotes name ever since they came into existence.
Although his age is starting to become a factor, Doan's production has hardly slipped. Since the 1999-00 season, Doan has had at least 20 goals in every season except for the 2009-10 campaign (he had 18) and at least 50 points in every season except for in 2001-02 (he had 49).
With the big names like Suter and Parise already signed to new teams and Shea Weber's fate to be decided on Wednesday, Shane Doan is one of the top names left on the board.
While he is past his prime, the veteran leadership that Doan will bring to any franchise could be the last piece of the puzzle for the following teams to win them the Stanley Cup. He was awarded with the Messier Leadership Award in 2012 and still has a few more years left in the tank.
New York Rangers
The New York Rangers have been in talks with all of the biggest free agents this offseason, but are yet to land a big name. Arizonasports.com reported that Shane Doan made his first official visit of free agency on Friday, and the Rangers were the first team that he has stopped by to talk to.
The Rangers finished with 109 points in the Eastern Conference and earned the No. 1 overall seed in the playoffs. Doan would be an interesting fit in New York and would complement players like Marian Gaborik and Ryan Callahan quite nicely.
After visiting with the Rangers on Friday, Doan was set to visit the Flyers on Saturday, according to sports radio host John Gambadoro. The Coyotes captain would more than likely have to take a pay cut if he wanted to sign with Philly if the Predators don't match the offer sheet that the Flyers agreed on with Shea Weber.
If the Flyers managed to sign both Weber and Doan, they would without a doubt be the perennial winners of free agency and arguably the favorites for the Stanley Cup this upcoming season.
If the Predators end up holding on to Weber, look for the Flyers to place the largest offer on the table for Doan, and he will more than likely be in orange and black if he decides to leave Phoenix. He would be a great pick up after the Flyers lost some of their offense in James van Riemsdyk and Jaromir Jagr this offseason.
Detroit Red Wings
First, the Detroit Red Wings whiffed on signing Ryan Suter in order to replace future Hall of Famer Nicklas Lidstrom, and have since failed to agree to an offer sheet with Shea Weber, leaving them with a few holes in the roster and a failure to make some noise this off-season.
A main reason why Doan would more than likely leave the Coyotes is to place himself in a better environment to win the Stanley Cup, and Hockeytown would be a great location for him to pursue that dream.
The Detroit Free Press reported that Doan could start examining the Red Wings on Friday, as they have offered him a deal, but the details of the deal are unknown at this time.
Doan heading to the Pittsburgh Penguins makes a lot of sense and is arguably the place that will give him the best chance of winning the Stanley Cup, and he will most likely be placed on a line with superstar Sidney Crosby.
If you think about it, Pittsburgh would have last year's Hart Memorial Trophy winner in Evgeni Malkin would be leading the Pens with James Neal on the wing, and then to have Crosby and Doan on another line would make their offense one of the scariest in the NHL.
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It is no secret that Shane Doan loves playing in Phoenix, and as I mentioned earlier, to imagine him playing anywhere else is quite difficult. The fact that Doan has waiting this long to even entertain any other offer might just prove that he is giving the Coyotes ownership as long as possible to find a deal for him.
If he stays in Phoenix, it is probably safe to say that Doan will end his career without winning a Stanley Cup, but he has proven over the last two decades that he is one of the most loyal players the league has to offer.
If the Coyotes can find a way to make Doan the right offer, he will more than likely end up staying in Phoenix; if not, Doan will entertain his offers elsewhere. But as of now, Phoenix is still the most likely destination for Shane Doan.