According to Vancouver's News 1130, Shane Doan was spotted in Vancouver last night, eating dinner with Francesco Aquilini, Mike Gillis and Laurence Gilman -- the owner, general manager, and assistant general manager of the Vancouver Canucks, respectively. Was it a sign that the Shane Doan derby is coming to an end?
Probably not. Just another sign that it's in full swing.
That didn't stop the Province from going into full-blown detective mode, mind you. They can even tell you where and what the dinner party ate:
In their latest attempt to woo Doan to the west coast, Canucks management and ownership broke bread with the highly-coveted unrestricted free agent Tuesday night at the Italian Kitchen in downtown Vancouver. While owner Francesco Aquilini, general manager Mike Gillis and assistant general manager Laurence Gilman didn't have to sell the 35-year-old winger on the merits of a cosmopolitan city to raise his four children, a competitive club and close proximity to Kamloops where Doan honed his junior hockey skills and met wife, Andrea, they had to sell him on the concept of dollars and sense. Regardless of what they receive in return for Roberto Luongo in an eventual trade, the Canucks are mindful of their salary structure and it's hard to imagine they would go north of the $6.1 million US cap hit for Henrik and Daniel Sedin.
Maybe that's why the dinner fare featured an antipasto rustico platter of cured meats and marinated olives, carne and pesce piatto of veal, trout, prawns and penne followed by desserts.
With word that Greg Jamison is $20 million short on his bid to buy the Coyotes (which doesn't include the racks on racks it'll cost to, you know, pay Doan) you can understand why Doan and agent Terry Bross have begun investigating other suitors, and why they might not mind being seen investigating them in public.
The winger remains the best free agent available by a landslide, and when you add the thin market to the high demand for guys that do what he does, he's going to be highly sought. When his private meetings with teams all over the continent keep getting out, it can only stoke the market. Lucky for Doan and Bross this keeps happening!
Thanks to someone's loose lips, we know Doan left Phoenix a week and a half ago and visited with the Rangers while he was in New York on Friday, July 20. Two days later, it was reported that Doan was in Philadelphia to speak with the Flyers. His next stop was apparently Montreal, and now, Vancouver.
Basically, keeping track of Doan as he uses the interest of NHL franchises to tour the country on their dime is like playing "Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?" at this point.
That in mind, it's possible that we can get one step ahead of Doan the same way we captured Carmen Sandiego: by plotting his movement using an ACME Crimenet detective kit and, hopefully, spotting a pattern:
My findings: I have no idea where Shane Doan is headed next, but if he still plans to stop by cities with a reported interest in his services such as Buffalo, Winnipeg, Detroit, or Pitsburgh, he's not taking a very efficient route.
That's all I've got. Whatever. I'm sure Bross will surreptitiously let Doan's next destination slip sometime soon anyway.
Sing us out, Rockapella.