NY Rangers Free Agency: 3 Reasons Shane Doan Is a Perfect Fit

Nick Krapf@@NickKrapfContributor IIIAugust 21, 2012

NY Rangers Free Agency: 3 Reasons Shane Doan Is a Perfect Fit

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    As the dog days of summer are ending, so are the dog days of the NHL offseason. Many players are getting acquainted with their new team or are skating once again to get back into playing shape for the beginning of the regular season.

    Currently, free agent Shane Doan is entertaining offers from the likes of the Phoenix Coyotes, Vancouver Canucks, Pittsburgh Penguins and San Jose Sharks.

    Another team in the Doan sweepstakes is the New York Rangers.

    After acquiring Rick Nash in July, the Rangers have showed interest in acquiring the 35-year-old winger as well. Back in July, Doan met with Rangers officials. Since then, not much has been mentioned between the two parties. Still, don't count the Blueshirts out quite yet.

    Here are three reasons why Shane Doan is a perfect fit for the New York Rangers.

1. Scoring

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    Any Rangers fan would tell you that the Achilles heel of the Rangers last year was scoring, especially during the playoffs.

    In the last 12 seasons, Doan has scored 20 or more goals in 11 seasons. Also, in that span Doan has registered 45-plus points per season.

    While the Rangers addressed the scoring problem by acquiring Nash, Doan can provide added scoring while Marian Gaborik is recovery from his shoulder surgery. When Gaborik returns, Doan can provide secondary scoring for the bottom six forwards, which featured offensive struggles from Brandon Dubinsky, Brian Boyle and Mike Rupp.

2. Mentor for the Young Players

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    What makes the Rangers a contender for years to come is the fact that they have great young players on the main and AHL rosters.

    Carl Hagelin, Chris Kreider and Derek Stepan are all 23 or under. Each had a standout year with the Rangers, making a huge impact during the regular season and playoffs.

    Future forwards J.T. Miller, Ryan Bourque and Christian Thomas (all on AHL affiliate Connecticut Whale) are even younger at 19, 21 and 20, respectively. Each are on the cusp of being called up to the Rangers' main roster in the next few years.

    If Doan signs to the Rangers for the four years that he wants, that means four years of mentoring for players that will learn so much from an established veteran (17 years of experience) as they begin entering the primes of their careers. 

    This would help the Rangers greatly when guys like Nash (28), Gaborik (30), Richards (32) and Doan (35) get older and retire.

3. Leadership

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    For the past eight seasons, Shane Doan has been the captain of the Coyotes.

    While I'm happy with the current selection of Rangers captains, which features Brad Richards and Marc Staal as alternates and Ryan Callahan with the "C" on his chest, having Doan come in would also be beneficial for the Rangers franchise.

    If one of the current captains goes down with a serious injury, Doan would be an easy selection to replace them until they return.

    Even if a major injury doesn't occur, Doan would still be a great asset to have. He's an experienced leader that has been through it all in his 17-year career, which is very valuable experience to have in an NHL locker room.