The Philadelphia Flyers should make a strong push to sign Phoenix Coyotes unrestricted free agent Shane Doan. Beyond the 318 goals that he's scored in the National Hockey League, Doan has the type of leadership qualities that would serve this particular group of players well.
General manager Paul Holmgren has made a number of choices so far this summer.
Choosing to swap promising winger James van Riemsdyk for Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Luke Schenn was a decent trade. JVR was talented, but the Flyers had enough depth within their forward lines to enable a move like this to be made.
Schenn should become a key member of the team's three defensive pairings. The 23-year-old may not play the same number of minutes (23) that Matt Carle averaged per game last season. But, his mobility, right-handed shot and decent defensive ability indicate that he should work effectively within head coach Peter Laviolette's system.
Signing New York Rangers free agent (and former Flyer) Ruslan Fedotenko added a flexible veteran forward. Signing Maple Leafs free agent Bruno Gervais helped to increase defensive depth.
Allowing Jaromir Jagr to sign with another team (Dallas Stars) was not actually a surprise. It's true that Holmgren had pending offer sheets on the table for now-Minnesota Wild players Zach Parise and Ryan Suter. It's also true that the Flyers knew Jagr was seeking a slight bump in salary and a guarantee of remaining on the team's top line next season. Regardless of what some might choose to believe, the Flyers didn't allow the future Hall of Famer to leave because of some miscalculation.
Number 68 was a smart addition last summer and became a positive influence in the locker room. He certainly helped the development of Claude Giroux and brought out the best in Scott Hartnell. In consideration of age, injury issues and his projected ability to be fully healthy for the 2013 postseason, Jagr was seen as expendable.
This is where Doan could enter the picture.
Obviously there's a strong demand for the Coyotes captain. I'm not saying that the Flyers have a better shot than other teams at signing him and it's also known that Doan has a familiarity with Ilya Bryzgalov, which will enter into any consideration that he gives to this situation.
The idea of having a solid veteran right winger, who turns 36 in October, is obviously appealing and would be a perfect replacement for Jagr. As to whether Holmgren can convince Doan to move to Philadelphia is the question.
Parise and Suter apparently turned down more money, including Philadelphia's most lucrative bids, to join the Wild. The Flyers have enough space in their cap payroll to make a substantial offer to Doan. So, time will tell if he actually leaves Phoenix and whether he wants to wear an orange and black sweater.
Sean O'Brien is based in the Philadelphia region. He has written professionally for over two decades and is currently a Featured Contributor for Yahoo! You can follow him on Twitter @SeanyOB and also read his daily Sports Blog: Insight.
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