At six-foot-two, 228 pounds, Phoenix Coyotes captain Shane Doan would bring an intangible to the Toronto Maple Leafs’ offense that is unheard of; his ability to play physically.
The Halkirk, Alberta native is known for his aggressive, physical, in your face type of hockey. He isn’t afraid to drop the gloves, or even agitate. Along with that, he has offensive awareness on the ice and the ability to put up points. While also adding to the offensive game of the team, Doan also exemplifies strong defensive play with and without the puck. On a team coached by Randy Carlyle, this type of player would be extremely valuable.
Every unrestricted free agent comes at a cost. With such a dull crop of UFAs available come July 1, it isn’t a stretch to believe that Doan will cash in. It also wouldn’t be a stretch to believe Shane is looking to sign a deal with a potential Stanley Cup contender. While he still has the ability to play at a high level, Doan likely knows he only has a few seasons left to try to win a championship.
At the end of the day, these things should not stop the Toronto Maple Leafs from making an offer. Although many might say he doesn’t fit into the core considering his age, I would disagree.
Every young team could use a veteran or two. Having a leader on and off the ice will only benefit young players’ careers. Who better than Doan, a former King Clancy Memorial Trophy winner, awarded to the player who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice?
The addition of Doan into the lineup would likely also make a forward or two expendable. One of Clarke MacArthur or Nikolai Kulemin could likely be had by trade if Doan was signed. Both could be available depending on the Maple Leafs’ view of how well Nazem Kadri and Matt Frattin are progressing.
Depending on how contract conversations with Kulemin go, the restricted free agent could be moved anyway. Scoring at least 50 points in his last nine seasons, the offensive output from Nikolai Kulemin or Clarke MacArthur would likely not be missed much. This would allow Brian Burke and company to look for a deal to acquire a top-four shut down defenceman, who is needed in order for this team to be successful in the short- and long-term.
The acquisition of Doan seems unlikely due to the number or suitors likely to offer on his services. However, there is no hurt in making an attempt to acquire a valuable asset. Burke has said many times before that he wants to add size into the forward group this off-season, and adding Shane Doan does that.