Philadelphia Flyers: Why Philly Needs Doan Now More Than Ever

Dan KelleyCorrespondent IIJuly 31, 2012

Philadelphia Flyers: Why Philly Needs Doan Now More Than Ever

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    The Phoenix Business Journal has indicated that potential Coyotes buyer Greg Jamison may be well short of guaranteeing the team a stay in Arizona, and while that news has tragically little impact on the hockey following in Phoenix, true hockey markets are biting at the bit to sign free agent Shane Doan.

    After the New York Rangers acquired Rick Nash via trade, the Philadelphia Flyers have had their own needs at right wing magnified, and Phoenix’s loyal natural leader is the perfect solution.

    This tumultuous offseason has made Doan’s presence more important than ever for the Flyers. Here are five reasons why the Flyers must make Doan a priority in the coming days.

Doan Is an Upgrade from Jaromir Jagr

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    Shane Doan’s likely role would be on the first line, on the right wing. Here, Doan would be playing alongside Claude Giroux and Scott Hartnell, filling Jaromir Jagr’s role from 2011-12.

    Jagr brought leadership and discipline to the Flyers, while contributing points on the top line. Doan could fill the exact same role.

    While Doan has never won a Stanley Cup, his leadership and loyalty are legendary in the NHL, and he is known to go hard to the net and put up 60 points or more over the course of a season.

    With Jagr gone, Doan is a natural replacement, providing the same wisdom and commanding the same respect while being an offensive force with the right linemates. Doan is already a natural fit on the Flyers.

The Flyers Don't Need to Give Up Anything for Doan

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    The last two months have been breeding grounds for Philadelphia Flyers-Bobby Ryan trade rumors, an attractive proposition given Ryan’s angst in Anaheim and his Cherry Hill, New Jersey roots.

    The fit seems completely natural.

    However, for a Ryan-to-Philly trade to work, Anaheim is reportedly after Brayden Schenn or Sean Couturier, pieces that GM Paul Holmgren seems unwilling to deal, according to Philly.com.

    Shane Doan may not have Ryan’s youth or goal-scoring touch, but he has one advantage: He can be acquired without giving up any talent.

    Schenn and Couturier are expected to be a part of a bright Flyers’ future, and Doan allows Philly to address needs without sacrificing that dream.

The Flyers Need a First-Line Right Winger

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    Last week, the Flyers re-signed restricted free agent Jakub Voracek to a four-year deal. As of the moment, Voracek is expected to be the first-line right winger.

    Voracek’s abilities are not in question, as the winger put up 49 points last season and is poised to break out this year. However, his talents do not make him an ideal first-liner, as Voracek prefers to stick-handle and pass rather than shoot.

    With Claude Giroux setting up the first line, the Flyers need someone who will find open ice and loose pucks to play alongside Giroux.

    Doan could be the perfect compliment.

Leadership Is Still Valuable for Philly

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    With captain Chris Pronger still saddled with post-concussion issues and veterans like Jaromir Jagr gone, the Flyers find leadership at a premium.

    Sure, players like Claude Giroux and Brayden Schenn have the potential to be captains under the right circumstances, but experience still means something in this NHL.

    With the Flyers’ young lineup still developing an identity, the leadership of a wily vet like Doan would help set the team in the right direction. Doan has been loyal to the Phoenix franchise since it was in Winnipeg, and he is not a player who takes his opportunities for granted.

    Doan’s attitude fits the humble, motivated persona that Paul Holmgren and Peter Laviolette are still looking to establish.

Doan Would Salvage Philly's Offseason

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    Let’s face it—the 2012 offseason has been unkind to the Flyers.

    The team missed out on big swings at Ryan Suter, Zach Parise and Shea Weber. Philly also lost Jaromir Jagr and Matt Carle, and traded away two popular players in James van Riemsdyk and Sergei Bobrovsky.

    As ridiculous as it may sound, getting a win this offseason is a big deal for the Flyers, and Shane Doan may be that win.

    Doan is highly coveted, and acquiring him would mean winning a battle. It would send a message that the Flyers are a big step closer to winning a Stanley Cup.

    The Flyers will play well no matter what happens this offseason. But bringing in Doan makes Holmgren a top GM and keeps the Flyers at pace with the elite in the Eastern Conference.