Shane Doan originally set July 9 as the date he would decide whether or not to explore free agency — which means that we might be very close to finding out if Doan will stay in Phoenix for the 2012-13 season and beyond.
If Doan, currently an unrestricted free agent, opts to test the market, there are at least 11 teams (including the Red Wings) that have already inquired about the veteran power forward, his agent told The Republic.
Yet his 16-year stay in Arizona is at risk of ending because of an ownership mess that appears to be growing more complicated by the minute. And it’s not just the Kings who appear to have interest in Doan. Eleven teams have inquired about the player, his agent, Terry Bross, said Friday. New York, Detroit and Montreal are among the group, according to various reports.
Doan deserves better.
“It’s heartbreaking for him,” Bross said. “Heartbreaking.”
The Coyotes’ loss could be another team’s gain. The 35-year-old Doan is coming off a 22-goal, 50-point season and has scored at least 20 goals in all but one season since 1999. As Red Wings fans well know, Doan is a gritty and physical winger, and he would slot in well as a top-six guy on just about any team in the league.
That’s especially true in Detroit, since the Wings missed out on Zach Parise and don’t appear especially interested in Alexander Semin. While the Wings would love to add another proven goal-scorer through free agency, there’s a substantial drop-off after Doan. GM Ken Holland did sign Swiss forward Damien Brunner to a one-year, two-way contract, and Mike Babcock has talked about Brunner having the potential to earn a spot on one of the team’s top two lines. Brunner, though, has never played in the NHL.
Given how the forward market has unfolded since free agency kicked off on July 1, Doan would be in line for a significant contract. While Doan would not threaten the $7.5 million per year that Parise received from Minnesota, he does figure to receive north of, say, Jiri Hudler’s $4 million-a-year deal.
Of course, the Wings can afford to fund Doan’s move away from the desert, should it happen. They still have about $18 million left under the salary cap, and should retain about $13 million of that number once Justin Abdelkader and Kyle Quincey re-sign.
Doan’s agent has “called the Red Wings several times,” according to MLive’s Ansar Khan. Whether that’s because Doan is interested in Hockeytown or because Detroit’s cap situation could help drive up a purchase price, we’ll have to wait and see. But we should know a lot more on Monday, as Doan closes in on a decision about his future.