NASHVILLE, TN - MAY 04: Shane Doan #19 of the Phoenix Coyotes takes a slapshot against the Nashville Predators in Game Four of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Bridgestone Arena on May 2, 2012 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
The one unrestricted free agent the hockey world is still raving about is Shane Doan, and time is ticking for the 35-year-old right winger. Doan has played the waiting time for as long as he reasonably could with Phoenix. The Phoenix Business Journal reported July 28 that the team's potential new owner, Greg Jamison, is $20 million short of what he needs to keep the team in Phoenix. Doan has explicitly stated that if the situation permits, he will stay in Phoenix. However, with the ownership situation looking quite gloomy, Doan has conjured up an asking price of four years, $30 million.
According to Josh Cooper of the Tennessean, Predators Coach Barry Trotz has been in personal contact with Shane Doan and over the last month, and Shane Doan has allegedly stated that Nashville is on his "short list." All seems dandy, as even GM David Poile stated last week that the Predators have interest in Doan join the Predators if he finally gives up on the franchise with which he has been his entire professional career. Nevertheless, rumors have been abuzz about Shane Doan's ultimate decision, and it is quite clear he is looking for a team that is not just a cash dispensary, but also a serious Stanley Cup contender.
Larry Brooks of the New York Post reported on Sunday that Doan has narrowed his sights on three teams: New York, Pittsburgh, and Vancouver. These teams have money to spend and are all anxious to bring Doan on board. The Rangers have become a top-heavy team with the addition of Rick Nash and the loss of Brandon Dubinsky, Artem Anisimov, and Brandon Prust, and they are looking to Doan to fill that depth void. The Canucks, who lack a power forward and can use some veteran leadership, have gone as far as to woo their client to come to the team over an Italian dinner featuring an antipasto rustico platter of cured meats and marinated olives, carne and pesce piatto of veal, trout, prawns and penne followed by desserts (no word on the wine tab). Pittsburgh continues to express interest in Doan, as he may work his way into the first two lines of the team very fluidly.
The bottom line is this: Doan is being hunted by many, and the price these teams are willing to pay is high. Poile claims that Doan is not expected to visit here due to his familiarity with Nashville. Nevertheless, the Predators need to be doing anything they can to sign Doan. He is the star forward the team needs now, especially after losing Alexander Radulov, and it is time for the Predators to be reckoned with as a Stanley Cup contender.