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Proteau's Blog: It's a Doan deal

• Looks like Shane Doan is on the verge of

signing a contract extension with the Coyotes. That isn't really a surprise, as Wayne Gretzky and the entire organization always have held their captain in high regard.

Doan's signing could have a large effect on the negotiations between Ryan Smyth and the Edmonton Oilers. The two players have similar games, meaning whatever Doan gets, Smyth will want at least as much. And if the Oilers think Doan's deal is too rich, Smyth will be on the trade block. If he isn't already.

• Speaking of trades, a Western Conference GM told me yesterday he believes a handful of big-name players (besides Peter Forsberg) will be dealt before the trade deadline.

“I don't think it'll be only depth players (who) are moved,” he said. “There are some very recognizable names being discussed, and I think you'll see some of them switch (teams). The buyers and sellers are definitely starting to reveal themselves.”

• Just in time for Valentine's Day, Pittsburgh

Tribune-Review columnist Joe Starkey put together

a convincing column lamenting the lack of love for Sidney Crosby.

Starkey is right – the league should be doing more to protect the players who will be bringing in the major endorsement deals and attracting the casual fan.

But Crosby's luck just hasn't been the best this season. I mean, I went to see

Hannibal Rising last weekend, and the actor (

Gaspard Ulliel) who plays the murderous doctor from the

Silence of The Lambs in his younger days, looks like he was separated at birth from the Penguins superstar.

Now, every time I look at Crosby, I can't help but think of liver, some fava beans and a nice Chianti.


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