Sidney Crosby needs a winger, and Pittsburgh Penguins GM Ray Shero made it a priority since the start of the offseason: "I'd love to get a winger for Sidney, but those guys don't fall off trees," he said.
Trees? Not often. A cactus? Oh, hello Shane Doan.
Shelly Anderson of the Post-Gazette reports that the Penguins have made an offer to the Phoenix Coyotes' free-agent captain, although there's no indication that it's the bat-crap crazy 4 years and $30 million offer that somebody in the Eastern Conference made.
Anderson writes that there's no timetable set for either side to decide, and that — wait for it — there is mutual interest between Doan and this suitor.
John Gambadoro of KTAR in Phoenix has the count up to seven teams that have given a confirmed offer to Doan.
On the list: The Coyotes (of course), the Penguins, the Los Angeles Kings, the San Jose Sharks, the Detroit Red Wings, the Buffalo Sabres and the Vancouver Canucks. He also said the New York Rangers are showing interest, although one wonders what influence the Rick Nash Derby has on that.
Of those suitors — and assuming the next CBA doesn't dramatically alter this — the Vancouver Canucks currently have the least amount of room under the cap at $3.046 million (via Cap Geek), but that's one Roberto Luongo trade away from being rectified.
The Detroit Red Wings have $16.83 million in cap space, keeping in mind that they might want to add a defenseman or two as well.
(Where is Winnipeg in all this, by the way? Does quasi-nostalgia have its limits when it impacts the cap?)
Doan has said time and again he prefers to remain with the Coyotes, but the muddled (if slightly sunnier) outlook for the franchise's future in Glendale continues to fuel his availability. If he leaves, the Canucks (his wife is from BC), the Kings (who, as Drew Doughty said, will have to get past some bad blood) and the Red Wings (to whom Doan's agent reached out early in the process) might be the front-runners.
Unless, of course, the siren's song of playing on Sidney Crosby's wing and with Sid and Malkin on the power play proves too strong to resist. Well, that and the money.