The latest on Shane Doan, the Blackhawks, and Bobby Butler.
CSNPHILLY.COM: Tim Panaccio noted a recent report in the NY Post claiming Shane Doan was believed to have narrowed his choices to the Rangers, Canucks and Penguins.
PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW’s Josh Yohe reported via Twitter he would be “surprised if Doan signs with Pens. No way their offer is highest. But he hasn’t scratched them off his list. Interest is mutual.” Yohe also claimed “Many around NHL have told me that Doan situation is holding up a number of other deals. Is Shane Doan really that important? Guess he is.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Regarding that NY Post report, the key word is “believed”. The columnist (Larry Brooks) cited no sources – not even an unnamed one – in his report, leaving me with the impression it was merely speculation. Doan and his agent also haven’t confirmed this. That being said, those three clubs appear the best options for Doan if he decides to part ways with the Coyotes. The Flyers need a top defenseman, not another scoring forward.
As for holding up other deals, other than perhaps a Bobby Ryan trade, I can’t foresee any other significant moves involving forwards between now and the start of training camp (whenever that might be). There certainly isn’t much left in free agency, and Ryan is the only significant forward whose name has appeared in the rumor mill, though there’s been nothing out of Anaheim in weeks to suggest he’s available.
CSNCHICAGO.COM: Chris Boden reports he believes Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman could still make a move or two down the road, as he has the pieces to make a trade, but “the combination of the quiet, less-urgent landscape and his (correct) insistence not to make some move just for the sake of making one that won’t benefit the club is part of the gridlock, like it or not.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s the “quiet, less-urgent landscape”, rather than Doan taking his time deciding where to sign, which I believe has more to do with not just how quiet the Blackhawks have been in recent weeks, but other clubs too. Again, there’s not much talent remaining in the UFA market, and teams aren’t falling over themselves to make trades at this time of year. Once training camp begins (whenever that happens), I believe that’s when we’ll see teams (like the Blackhawks) more willing to make moves.
METROWEST DAILY NEWS: Dan Cagen recently reported the father of former Ottawa Senators forward Bobby Butler claimed four Eastern Conference teams, as well as teams from Switzerland, Sweden and Russia, have interest in his son. Butler was recently bought out of the final season of his contract by the Senators. Butler would like a one-way deal but would settle for a two-way contract.