Buffalo is the latest team to throw its hat into the ring for the right-winger’s services, and according to Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News, Doan has also received interest from the Pittsburgh Penguins and Nashville Predators. Leonard also reports that the current front-runners are the New York Rangers and Vancouver Canucks.
Being the most sought-after free agent left on the market, Doan has been taking his time to choose which team he will play for next season.
In an interview with TSN, reported by NHL.com, Doan has stated that his ideal situation would be to stay in Phoenix.
"Right now I'm doing everything I can to stay there and that's kind of my goal," he said.
But with the future of the team in limbo, Doan has also accepted the fact that time may be running out to strike a deal with the Coyotes.
"At the same time, I'm having to do some due diligence, now in the fact that the longer it takes the more likely and the harder it seems to be to get a deal done in Phoenix," he said.
Another obstacle for Doan would be the current CBA expiring.
Recent labor negotiations between players and owners have hit a wall as the NHLPA has cancelled the latest CBA meetings according to ESPN, making a lockout more likely come September 15th.
But to avoid any snags, Doan’s agent, Terry Boss, plans to get Doan signed before mid-September, regardless of the team’s ownership situation. According to Sarah McLean of the Arizona Republic (via USA Today):
"Shane is going to sign a contract before the CBA expires on the 15th...(Ownership has to) be done before the 15th, otherwise we're signing somewhere because we don't know what the new CBA is going to look like, and I don't know if it's going to limit any scope of a contract, so we want to make sure we sign before then."
Even though it may be tough times for Doan, he is a free agent at the right time in his career. He has amassed over 750 points in his 16 years in the NHL. He's also coming off a campaign that saw him lead the Coyotes to the first Western Conference finals appearance in the organization’s history.
Such experience will be invaluable for teams looking for the last piece in hoisting the Stanley Cup. The Sabres are just one of those teams.
Buffalo is a team with several pieces in place to become a serious Stanley Cup contender. With a young corps of players added with experience on the back line with the likes of Christian Ehrhoff and Robyn Regehr, signing Doan would complement the team. He would bolster the top line while providing more goals and more points after the departure of Derek Roy this past offseason.
Still, there are many teams competing to acquire Doan’s services. Teams will make their pitch to the prized free agent, making his decision that much harder.
And with the current CBA, along with the Coyotes' ownership problems, the Doan saga will labor on.
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