Did you think the summer would be drama free after Rick Nash was finally traded? Wrong you were. Shane Doan continues to deliberate over his future, contemplating finishing his career out with Phoenix or taking on a new venture with a new club.
Numerous teams have been linked to Doan including the Vancouver Canucks, Pittsburgh Penguins and the New York Rangers (Source). Would Shane Doan be a wise move for the Rangers or would the club be best off passing on the most expensive option left on the market?
The New York Rangers are well versed in handing out large contracts. The club recently acquired Rick Nash from Columbus, a move that will cost them $7.8 million a year for the next six seasons. The Rangers have never been shy to take on more salary. As things sit, the Rangers are enjoying roughly $11 million in cap space. Theoretically, the Rangers have wiggle room to bring in one more big contract - cue Shane Doan.
Shane Doan has been rumored to want a new deal in the range of four years, $30 million. In other words, Doan is searching for a multi-year deal that pays something around $7 to $8 million a season. Few teams would be willing to take on such a contract, especially one for a player that will turn 36 in October.
Keep in mind that this report about the Rangers being interested in Doan is just that - a report. It's speculation. Your opinion on the New York Post will also greatly influence just how truthful you find this report on Doan to be. As always, take these types of articles as a discussion rather than an accurate report of things to come.
The idea of Doan joining the Rangers is a logical one. The Rangers have cap space to bring in Doan and typically aren't shy to be right up against the cap ceiling. Though most would agree that the Rangers won the Rick Nash trade with Columbus in decisive fashion, the Rangers parted with several pieces that have opened up some holes. As things stand the club will be forced to use inexperienced players (Potentially Carl Hagelin or Chris Kreider) behind the team's threatening stars. Keep in mind that Marian Gaborik will also miss time as he recovers from a shoulder injury, further exposing some of the inexperience backing the veteran core.
Adding Shane Doan to the mix would answer a lot of questions for the Rangers mentioned above and the move would push the team into an elite category (more so than they already are) before the season even gets started. The fantasy scenario of Rick Nash, Marian Gaborik, Shane Doan and Brad Richards all skating on the same team is a fun one to picture, unless you root for a different squad in the Atlantic Division.
Ultimately, Doan's future remains undecided. Thankfully we aren't in charge of handicapping his decision as it seems to be a mystery where he will finally end up. Doan remaining in Phoenix is probably the most realistic scenario but a shift to either Vancouver or New York is starting to seem like a very real possibility.
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Now, on to the topic at hand. I can see where the Rangers would do this. They traded two forwards for one in the Nash deal, both guys who were on the active roster last season, so we can easily guess that they have an "open" forward spot to work with. Plus, as stated, they have cap room to work with. The question isn't so much "can they afford it?" as "should they afford it?".
In an off-season where several owners in the league have been busy shooting themselves in the foot, or at least talking out of both sides of their mouths regarding length and value of contracts desired versus given, I suppose it shouldn't really surprise anyone that the Rangers might consider Doan's contractual wishes reasonable. He's a proven commodity, if finally on the down slope of his career, after all, and the team certainly did well enough last year to consider bringing in what might be the final pieces for Cup contention.
All that said, I still figure Doan to stay in Phoenix, if he can figure out a way to do so. While it's certainly not an ideal situation down in Arizona, there's plenty to be said for his longevity with the franchise, which seems to actually matter to hockey players occasionally (see also: Barrett Jackman, for one).