The New York Rangers have been fairly quiet in the NHL rumors department this offseason. They were never really in on Zach Parise who signed a 13-year deal with the Minnesota Wild. The talks with the Columbus Blue Jackets regarding Rick Nash have not gone anywhere since Columbus GM Scott Howson refuses to lower his asking price and Rangers GM Glen Sather refuses to give in to his demands.
There is no doubt the Rangers need to add some scoring punch. They will be without Marian Gaborik to start the year and his offense will be missed. With no real difference maker on the free agent market with Parise gone, the Rangers could go for the next available option, Phoenix Coyotes forward Shane Doan.
Doan, 35, would be a huge upgrade for the Rangers on either the first or, most likely, the second line. Last season, the 6-2, 228-pound winger recorded 50 points, 22 goals and 28 assists, for a surprising Coyotes team that made it to the Western Conference Finals before losing to the eventual Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings.
Doan has been with the Phoenix Coyotes since they were the Winnipeg Jets before moving to Phoenix before the 1996-97 season. Doan has made it clear that his first choice is to stay in Phoenix but he has been waiting to hear about the situation between ownership and the city of Glendale on the team’s lease agreement. If there is no stability on the horizon Doan could decide to move on. He is coming off of a contract that paid him $4.75 million per year and should command something similar over two or three years when he might decide to hang up the skates.
Doan would be an excellent fit for the Rangers, bringing some scoring to go along with a strong defensive game and superior leadership. Given the current state of affairs in Phoenix, it seems likely that Doan will hit the open market and the Rangers could, and should, be one of the teams bidding for his services. Although he has kept quiet on his future right now, he has said he would be open to any East Coast team, including the Rangers. We should know sometime next week where Doan’s future lies.