The ongoing saga regarding the sale of the Phoenix Coyotes continues to impact unrestricted free agent right winger Shane Doan’s decision over where he’ll play next season.
It’s well-known Doan’s first choice is to re-sign with the Coyotes, but he’s reluctant to commit to a long-term deal given the uncertainty over the team’s future in Arizona.
Legal wrangling over a petition by a local group attempting to block the sale by putting it to a referendum in the November elections led Doan’s agent, Terry Bross, to suggest that could force his client to consider his options with other clubs.
Doan had set a deadline of July 9 and hoped for more clarity on the sale of the Coyotes. Bross recently said if they didn’t have an answer by July 16, “it may be time to get serious” about entertaining offers from other clubs.
But Bross subsequently claimed “there’s no relevance” to that date and that 16 teams had contacted him to express interest in Doan.
It’s believed the Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins, Vancouver Canucks, Toronto Maple Leafs, Chicago Blackhawks, San Jose Sharks, Montreal Canadiens and the Stanley Cup-champion Los Angeles Kings are among those teams.
NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said Wednesday the league was pushing forward with its sale of the Coyotes to the Jamison group, while the Glendale City Council rejected the ballot measure petition, citing misleading language and other technical issues.
If it appears the sale of the Coyotes will finally go through, that would improve the club’s chances of re-signing Doan.
MARLEAU UNLIKELY TO MOVE
The lack of notable free agent signings has given rise to trade speculation around the blogosphere, some of which involved San Jose Sharks left winger Patrick Marleau.
David Pollak of the San Jose Mercury News asked Marleau at season’s end if he’d waive his no-movement clause should GM Doug Wilson approach him about a trade.
Marleau’s response at the time was he’d cross that bridge if he came to it, an opinion that hasn’t changed when Pollak followed up with the long-time Shark. “I’m not at that bridge,” was his response.
In other words, Marleau hasn’t been approached about a trade and it doesn’t sound like he will be.
It’s possible a rival GM made enquiries about Marleau, but that doesn’t mean he’s available.
BRENDEN MORROW RUMORS SWIRL
Leading up to last season’s trade deadline, Dallas Stars captain Brenden Morrow was frequently mentioned (along with left winger Steve Ott) as a trade candidate.
Ott and defenseman Adam Pardy were traded to the Buffalo Sabres for center Derek Roy nearly two weeks ago and, after the Stars signed veteran wingers Ray Whitney and Jaromir Jagr, Morrow’s name resurfaced in the rumor mill.
A report in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch suggested the 33-year-old left winger, who has a year remaining on his contract, would be of interest to the Blues.
Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk, however, told the Dallas Morning News his plan was to retain his captain.
That came as good news to Morrow, who has a full no-movement clause and claimed he wanted to return to the Stars next season.
IS PAUL MARTIN OF THE BLOCK?
Shortly after the Pittsburgh Penguins traded defenseman Zbynek Michalek back to the Phoenix Coyotes during draft weekend, it was assumed fellow expensive blueliner Paul Martin, whose cap hit is $5 million, would also be on his way out.
The Penguins were seen as trying to clear cap space to take a run at Zach Parise or Ryan Suter via free agency, which stoked anticipation Martin would be dealt.
But according to a recent report in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, the Pens are no longer actively shopping him.
Losing out in the bidding for Suter likely changed their minds, since trading Martin would mean one less puck-moving blueliner in the lineup.
Rumor Roundup appears Monday-Friday only on thehockeynews.com. Lyle Richardson has been an NHL commentator since 1998 on his website, spectorshockey.net, and is a contributing writer for Eishockey News, Kukla’s Korner and The Guardian, Charlottetown.