Shane Doan is the biggest remaining free agent available in the NHL, but he’s also the biggest villain of the playoffs, according to fans of the Los Angeles Kings. However, if the Kings were to defy all odds and sign Doan, they would not only create the best four lines in hockey, they would literally kill their newest rivalry with the Phoenix Coyotes just as fast it started.
If Shane Doan opts to sign for a club other than the Coyotes, he’s reported to consider just three teams, all big-time contenders: the Pittsburgh Penguins, Detroit Red Wings, and Los Angeles Kings.
It’s clear that at Doan’s age(-he’ll be 36 this October) hoisting the Stanley Cup is the top priority. With ownership uncertainties in Phoenix and departing Coyotes like Ray Whitney and Adrian Aucoin, there’s no better chance to win a cup than with the defending Stanley Cup Champions, who plan to return their entire roster. How can you beat that?
If Doan would sign with the Kings, he’d fit perfectly into the third line. Simon Gagne, Jarret Stoll and Shane Doan would all be in natural positions for a scoring line that would be the top line on a team like Phoenix, but the third line on a team as good as the Kings.
With Doan in the mix, the Kings could slot Dwight King and Trevor Lewis downward, alongside Andrei Loktionov or Brad Richardson, for a grinding, yet skilled fourth line, which would arguably be the best fourth line in the NHL.
The Kings could roll four lines with ease, and players like Lewis and Doan would get plenty of special teams opportunities that typically wouldn’t be seen for fourth liners.
Quite simply, bringing in Shane Doan is a perfect scenario for the Kings, however, it hinges on one factor: he must be willing to take a one-year deal.
With all of the uncertainty surrounding the new CBA, the salary cap, and the host of Kings players that need contracts next July, bringing on Doan for more than a year initially, can handcuff Dean Lombardi.
If he can take a one-year deal, both parties would be able to consider either a split or a reduced contract in 2013, and the Kings could in theory, be hoisting the Cup, with Shane Doan, next June.
However, if it does happen and Doan brings his talents to Manhattan Beach, the Kings will have to have a moment of silence for the Kings-Coyotes rivalry. Without Doan, it would be over. Sure, they have Keith Yandle and Mike Smith, but Yandle is trade bait and Smith is…well, Mike Smith.
Then again, signing Doan and breaking the hearts of all twelves Coyotes fans once again would be a pretty sweet moral victory for the LA Kings.