The initial wave of top UFAs has passed. The top two free agents, Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, both signed with the Minnesota Wild. Martin Brodeur, Dustin Penner, David Perron, Mason Raymond, and Erik Johnson all resigned with their previous clubs. Jaromir Jagr went to Dallas. PA Parenteau moved onto Colorado. Brandon Prust signed with Montreal. Tampa Bay signed Sami Salo and Matt Carle.
Through all this chaos over the past ten days, there are still some big name free agents that have yet to sign a contract. Shane Doan and Alexander Semin top this list that also includes Teemu Selanne (very likely to resign in Anaheim once again), Kyle Wellwood, and Andrei Kostitsyn.
Shane Doan is a very talented player, very smart away from the puck, and a tremendous leader both on the ice and in the locker room. The destination of Coyotes captain Shane Doan largely depends on the fate of the Phoenix Coyotes franchise. If the city of Glensdale is able to work out a contract with the NHL (deadline is currently July 15 though it may get pushed back to the end of the month), there is a very good chance Doan will remain loyal and resign in Phoenix. Phoenix is without a doubt his first choice but he is currently exploring all other options. So far, the San Jose Sharks are the only team besides Phoenix to have offered Doan a contract so far. I’ll break down each team that is reportedly interested and note how Doan will fit in:
- Phoenix Coyotes – Doan has a been a member of the Coyotes organization dating back to when the club was still located in Winnipeg. Phoenix has been his home for the last fifteen years. With Phoenix on the rise, does he really want to relocate his entire family and life for the tail end of his career?
- Pittsburgh Penguins – The Penguins cleared out cap space in trading Jordan Staal to Carolina. Doan has to be high on their list after they lost out on top UFA Zach Parise. Imagine the numbers Shane Doan could put up on the right wing on a line with either Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin.
- Los Angeles Kings – Hockey is alive and well in LA after they just won the Stanley Cup. Doan would thrive in a city that fully supports their team. Doan would achieve career numbers playing with Anze Kopitar or Mike Richards.
- New York Rangers – The Rangers are under a lot of pressure to win and Shane Doan would help them get back to the glory land. Doan would get a lot of playing time on a top line with Brad Richards.
- Montreal Canadiens – Montreal is also another team always under the pressure to win and adding Doan would just be another piece of the puzzle after revamping the roster over the past season. Doan would see playing time with Rene Bourque and Tomas Plekanec.
- Philadelphia Flyers – The Flyers are another team that missed out on obtaining Zach Parise. They recently buffed their defense by adding Luke Schenn but had to deal James vanRiemsdyk in the process. Doan would fit in with Claude Giroux and Brayden Schenn.
- San Jose Sharks – Though the Sharks core of Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau are aging, but still have good group of your players including Logan Couture and Joe Pavelski. Doan would fit in offensively and be a huge voice in the locker room.
Alexander Semin may be one of the most offensively talented players in the entire league. Semin has the potential to be a perennial 40+ goal scorer and 80+ point producer. His numbers have dipped over the past few seasons. Semin is reported to have an attitude issue and his team commitment has been questioned. Any team signing Semin would be in a high risk, very high reward situation as he will be demanding a lot of money but if he produces, will be well worth it. It very much seems that Semin’s days in Washington are over. I’ll break down each option Semin reportedly has and explain how each one will work out:
- Detroit Red Wings – Detroit seems like a perfect fit for Semin. The city supports their team to the death and this environment may be just what Semin needs to get refocused and commit himself 100% to the team. Semin would fit in offensively with Johan Franzen, Henrik Zetterberg, and fellow Russian Pavel Datsyuk.
- Pittsburgh Penguins – Very much like Detroit, Pittsburgh is committed to their team and are stacked offensively with Crosby, Malkin, Brandon Sutter, and Kris Letang. Malkin is Pittsburgh’s Russian connection.
- New Jersey Devils – The New Jersey Devils were so close to winning the Stanley Cup this year and recently lost Zach Parise. Semin would be a solid replacement or if he has a good year, could even be an upgrade. Semin would fit in perfectly with Ilya Kovalchuk as the two have had great chemistry on the international front.
- Leave for Russia (KHL) – There is still the option Semin will leave the NHL and return home to Russia and play in the KHL like Alexander Radulov did. The benefit of this is a taxless contract and being able to play in his home country.
Only time will tell where Shane Doan and Alexander Semin will sign..
More to Come..
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