The Phoenix Coyotes have been popping up frequently in the rumor mill thanks to still-unsigned center Kyle Turris and trade speculation by a Boston pundit linking left winger Ray Whitney to the Bruins.
One Coyote who hadn’t been a topic of trade chatter was veteran right winger Shane Doan, who is eligible for unrestricted free agency next summer.
He would undoubtedly attract considerable attention as a free agent next July, but according to Paola Boivin of the Arizona Republic, Doan would prefer to finish his career with the Coyotes.
Doan, who’ll turn 35 on Oct. 10, began his career with the original Winnipeg Jets and moved with the team to Phoenix in 1996 and has been their captain since 2003.
GM Don Maloney told the Republic the franchise would do everything it could to keep Doan. In a meeting between the two in August, they decided to postpone negotiations until the club’s ownership situation was resolved.
Boivin said if the Coyotes get a new owner this season, Doan would look to sign an extension for three or four years. If not, he will rethink his options.
The Coyotes ownership saga has dragged on for more than two years, with the league trying hard to find someone willing to purchase the club and keep it in Arizona.
Re-signing Doan would not only help the Coyotes retain other key players, but also help them attract other unrestricted free agents next summer.
OILERS GUNNING FOR GUNNARSSON?
With the Toronto Maple Leafs in the market for scoring depth, defenseman Carl Gunnarsson continues to be mentioned as a trade candidate.
Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun believes the Leafs have paired Gunnarsson with team captain Dion Phaneuf in order to showcase the young Swede.
It’s been suggested Gunnarsson would be a good fit with the Edmonton Oilers, who are in need of a puck-moving defenseman and face starting the season without Ryan Whitney and Ladislav Smid, who are sidelined by injuries.
However, Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal doubts Gunnarsson would sufficiently address the Oilers defense needs.
The 24-year-old has shown promise, but at this stage of his young career, it’s unclear whether he’s ready to handle the rigours of being a first-pairing blueliner. Instead of targeting Gunnarsson, rumors persist the Oilers will make a pitch to free agent Bryan McCabe.
Leafs GM Brian Burke, meanwhile, bolstered his depth at center by acquiring center David Steckel on Tuesday from the New Jersey Devils.
Steckel is a big (6-foot-6, 215-pound), physical center, but he’s not a top-six forward, meaning Burke will continue to seek a scorer in the coming weeks, which will keep Gunnarsson’s name in the rumor mill.
WHY BRAYDEN SCHENN IS IN THE AHL
After nearly a week of speculation, the Philadelphia Flyers opted not to make a trade that would have freed up enough cap space to keep rookie center Brayden Schenn on the pro roster.
Instead, Schenn was “loaned” to the Flyers’ American League team in a move TSN called 100 percent cap specific.
Schenn is due a base NHL salary of $900,000, with bonuses that could push his overall salary for this season to more than $3 million.
In the past, there would be a “cap cushion” allowing the Flyers to absorb those bonuses, but because this is the final year of the current CBA, that cushion isn’t in effect, meaning bonus money counts against the Flyers cap.
The biggest bonus in Schenn’s contract involves playing all 82 games, so when Schenn misses the Flyers’ first game, his NHL salary will be reduced for the remainder of the season to a more affordable $1.8 million.
Schenn is currently nursing a shoulder injury and is expected to be recalled in the near future.
That should put to rest rumors of the Flyers shipping out left winger Scott Hartnell and his $4.2 million per season cap hit.
Rumor Roundup appears Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays 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 and Kukla’s Korner.