Throughout the summer of 2012, the status of Arizona Coyotes captain Shane Doan dominated the NHL rumour mill. Doan was an unrestricted free agent and spent the summer being courted by several teams (including the New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Toronto Maple Leafs and Vancouver Canucks) before re-signing a four-year deal with the Coyotes.
At the time, the Coyotes were coming off a run to the 2012 Western Conference Final and seemed to have a bright future. Nearly three years later, however, the Coyotes are poised to miss the playoffs for the third straight year, prompting management to begin a roster rebuild.
That's cast some question over the 38-year-old Doan's future with the Coyotes. He has only a year remaining on his current contract with a full no-trade clause. Doan recently told The Arizona Republic's Sarah McLellan a rebuild wasn't an ideal situation for player of his age. Though he has long maintained his preference is to remain with the Coyotes, NBC Sports' Jason Brough wonders if Doan might be open to an off-season trade.
With 12 goals and 30 points in 65 games, Doan is on pace for his lowest numbers over a full NHL season since 1998-99. In recent years his production has declined, due in part to his age and the Coyotes' lack of offensive talent
Doan remains a highly respected NHL star. If he's willing to accept a trade to a Cup contender this summer, there will be serious interest around the league in his services. It remains to be seen, however, if Doan will play out the remaining year of his contract with the Coyotes or seeks a trade in the summer.
OILERS OFF-SEASON WILL INCLUDE UPGRADE IN GOAL
The Edmonton Oilers could be in the market for a goaltender in the off-season. Viktor Fasth is eligible for unrestricted free agency in July and isn't expected to be re-signed. Ben Scrivens has another season remaining on his contract at a cap hit of $2.3 million.
TSN's Darren Dreger reports the Oilers could pursue a goalie at this year's NHL Draft. He claims they were interested in Chicago Blackhawks netminder Antti Raanta, who was demoted in late-February to the Blackhawks' AHL affiliate in Rockford. Dreger also claims they pursued Montreal Canadiens prospect Zach Fucale.
Carey Price has the starter's job in Montreal locked up for the next decade and backup Dustin Tokarski is under contract for next season. There appears little chance Fucale will crack the Habs lineup next season. Still, Canadiens management could be reluctant to part with the promising youngster.
The Oilers could have a better chance with Raanta, 25, who won't unseat Corey Crawford as the Blackhawks starter. Having re-signed Scott Darling earlier this season, the Blackhawks could make Raanta available. They aren't in any position to add salary so the Oilers (or another club) could land him for a draft pick.
The Edmonton Journal's Jonathan Willis wonders if the Oilers should target Carolina Hurricanes' goalie Cam Ward and Anton Khudobin. The Hurricanes are rebuilding and could be willing to move one of their netminders. Both have a season remaining on their respective contracts.
Willis believes Khudobin is the better option of the two, but it's unlikely the Hurricanes part with him. Khudobin is younger (28) than the 31-year-old Ward and could take over as their full-time starter next season.
New York Rangers backup Cam Talbot could also be an Oilers trade target. He's done a fantastic job filling in for the sidelined Henrik Lundqvist, but won't unseat “King Henrik” as the Blueshirts starter.
This summer's free-agent market is thin on quality goalies. The best option could be Antti Niemi if the San Jose Sharks decide not to re-sign him. The Oilers could be hard-pressed to win a bidding war for his services.
Rumor Roundup appears regularly 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 The Guardian (P.E.I.).
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